Mobile devices are an absolute necessity for the current generation of students. The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two-thirds of students (66%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.” At the same time, educators at schools, colleges and universities are embracing mobile learning and “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to provide engaging and collaborative 21st century instruction and learning. These emerging trends are creating new demands on school and university networks to accommodate this unprecedented influx of users, devices and applications.
To help education leaders respond to these challenges and opportunities, Cisco recently announced Beyond BYOD, a next-generation solution which allows schools, colleges and universities to implement multiple device strategies without compromises.
With the rise of distance and blended learning, the “campus” is an increasingly virtual concept, with educators and students communicating remotely and exchanging information that must be kept secure. Beyond BYOD allows schools, colleges and universities to optimize and manage the mobility experience for students, faculty and staff with diverse device, security, and education requirements.
Beyond BYOD features:
- A new “Identity Services Engine” (ISE) that helps users introduce personal devices to a campus network and configure an appropriate access level without hands-on assistance from IT.
- A new, scalable approach to WLAN infrastructure that supports rich media sharing. It’s IPv6-optimized for seamless roaming without drops and enhanced security. IPv6 compatibility is critical to next-generation BYOD strategy: Cisco VNI predicts 71 percent of smartphones and tablets – 1.6 billion in total – will be IPv6-capable by 2016.
- Simplified IT operations through a new Cisco management platform, Prime Assurance Manager 1.1, which affords thorough real-time, network-wide views of application performance. A companion management tool, Prime Infrastructure 1.1, aids planning and deployment of Cisco infrastructure.
Beyond BYOD represents a new, more strategic approach to education IT challenges – one that acknowledges and enables user preferences while anticipating future demands and developments. Schools and universities such as Katy ISD and Bowdoin College have been able to manage and scale their wireless network and deliver next generation learning environments – without compromises.