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How A School District Prepares for PARCC and More

CreepyKidIndian Prairie School district, the third largest school district in Illinois, conducted an in-depth investigation to develop an execution plan to adopt Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium guidelines and meet the Common Core State Standards head-on. Their execution plan took them beyond the basic requirements of online testing to providing a secure, borderless learning environment for a variety of devices, over wired and wireless.

Not only was this a great opportunity for them to upgrade their network to meet the state and national testing standards, but also to lay the foundation for any future requirements as technological advances are rapidly changing the education landscape.

Requirements: 

  1. Meet the computer-based testing requirements under PARCC
  2. Provide a borderless learning environment through mobile and online learning
  3. A stable infrastructure that can meet the dynamic network demand
  4. Prepare for the growing importance of technology in classrooms, wired and wireless, with trends such as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) as well as an increased use of district-owned devices.

 

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Wi-Fi & Taxes: Digging into the 802.11b Penalty

It’s that time of year again in the US – Tax Time!  That time of year where we review the previous year’s bounty, calculate what’s due, and re-evaluate our strategies to see if we can keep more of what we worked for.  Things change; rules, the economy, time to retirement, and before you know it you find yourself working through alternatives and making some new decisions.

Anyway, as I was working through the schedules and rule sheets, my mind wandered and I started to think about Wi-Fi and the taxes associated with it.  In my day job, I often play the role of forensic accountant.  Like a tax accountant, I’m always looking for a way to get more or understand why there isn’t more already.  So along those lines, lets talk about a little known tax that you may well be paying needlessly.  I’m talking of course about the dreaded 802.11b Penalty.

Wi-Fi protocols like 802.11b are referenced by standards committees for the workgroup that develops them.  In the 2.4 GHz spectrum, there is 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n.  Back in 1997, 802.11b  was the first modern Wi-Fi protocol ratified by the IEEE and it allowed transmissions of 11 Mbps, a major jump forward from the previous 2 Mbps  that was possible with the original 802.11 standard.

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After 802.11b came 802.11a, and then 802.11g.  Both of these protocols where a radical departure from the simplistic 802.11b structure and employed Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation (now standard in every 802.11 protocol created since then).  OFDM allowed for Read More »

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Mobile Marketing & Location Context @ ClickZ New York 2014

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Digital Marketing Executives, trade press and specialist companies gathered in New York this week for the latest ClickZ Live NYCevent.

Location, location, location…!!!

A very clear trend visible here is how location had become a key part of the digital marketing language.

It was part of the Keynote addresses.

  • Facebook’s former Director of Marketing is advocating it.
  • Google are presenting on it and delivering workshops on it.
  • Various booths talk about its importance.
  • Numerous speakers mention it in their presentation.
  • And Cisco are evangelizing how indoor location using WiFi and CMX can really enhance location capabilities and hugely driven additional revenue streams and enable new business models. Read More »

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RetailMeNot Leverages Cisco and Plixer for WLAN Optimization

April 1, 2014 at 9:23 am PST

Founded in 2007, RetailMeNot.com is the largest digital coupon site in the US.  They help hundreds of thousands of customers save money when shopping online. They are headquartered in Austin Texas, in the hip “Live Music Capital of the World”.  Since the company went public in 2013, the company has doubled the number of employees from 250 to over 500.

In previous blogs, I have covered what is AVC, SuccessEHS and how Plixer’s Scrutinizer accepts Netflow, sFlow and IPFIX exports. This post will cover how these key products are combined by RetailMeNot in their WLAN deployments to optimize and support this fast growing company.

Recently Michael Patterson, the Founder and Product Manager at Plixer, Matthew St. Jean the Marketing Manager at Plixer and I had an opportunity to talk to Tim Tyndall, the Lead Network Engineer at RetailMeNot.  Tim shared with us the highlights of the wireless LAN deployment and explained how they use Cisco Application Visibility and Control and Plixer’s Scrutinizer to stay in control of how their WLAN is being utilized.

Tim described the environment and culture that has become a huge part of the company’s success.  RetailMeNot  provides hip new offices for its employees with open work spaces and other awesome perks.

The Cisco powered wireless network supports this initiative. In fact, nearly all network connectivity is wireless. He said that employees are issued a laptop by the company and many carry in their own smartphones and tablets as well; Most of those devices being from Apple.

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Employees can roam freely with reliable service that spans the company’s five floors. Even during large meetings where access density increases dramatically, service continues without any interruptions and the performance metrics they can obtain using NetFlow is exceptional and reinforce that the traffic is optimized. Read More »

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How Cisco is Keeping You in The Game

March 31, 2014 at 8:14 am PST

Every year millions of hours of work are lost to the NCAA basketball tournament – from checking brackets and streaming games at work to people taking time off to catch their choice game. For many, travelling to watch their team’s games could mean even more hours lost –but not anymore. 

Two weeks ago I flew out a few days early to Saint Louis, Missouri to cheer on the Stanford Men’s Basketball team in the first and second round of the tournament. My flight from San Jose had Wi-Fi, which allowed me to work for the majority of the time in the air. I wasn’t the only one either:  Read More »

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