Authored by Doug Walsten

Digital technologies are transforming how people teach and learn. Today, digital learning capabilities have become the new norm to address rapidly evolving educational needs. Network readiness is an important factor in any new IT project at education institutions both large and small. New applications seem to require more bandwidth than the applications that they replace. These applications can also bring in new users, sometimes by the thousands. In some cases, network services and/or capacity are not ready for these changes, and the IT rollout suffers. 

Does this same scenario apply to K–12 education networks? 

Absolutely! As hybrid and distance learning, bring your own device (BYOD), live interactive video and video on demand, and online professional development are tested and adopted, it is important to understand how the new applications required to address these trends function, the amount of additional bandwidth needed to support them, and the impact they have on existing applications. 

Meet the Network Readiness Guide

Cisco’s Network Readiness Guide for K-12 Schools suggests questions to ask, provides a process to consider, and outlines action items around preparing your network for secure hybrid and distance learning, faculty professional development and standardized or College and Career Readiness (CCR) assessments for grades 3–11. The principles outlined in this guide can help ensure readiness for any new initiative, as well as for the day-to-day operations of a school or district. 

Check out the Network Readiness Checklist to prepare your school to ask the right questions about bandwidth, wireless, online learning and video, security, and cloud services. Plus, the checklist can help you identify action points to further guide your network readiness. 

Network Preparedness at Small Schools and Districts

Whether your school is one of the biggest in the nation or the smallest in your state, we can help you to empower teachers and students to connect, create, and share – anywhere, anytime, and on any device. With our network readiness guide and checklist, plus E-rate support, Cisco Capital, and Cisco Refresh, you can maximize your school’s budget to invest in innovative solutions and optimized learning outcomes. Learn more about networking solutions for small schools here.

Cisco and E-rate

Eight billion dollars in E-rate funding will be available in the new five-year budget cycle. Leverage E-rate funding to provide your teachers and students with a reliable, robust experience that bridges the physical and virtual classroom. Get our Top 10 Erate Tips and learn what Cisco products are E-rate eligible.

>> Read the new Cisco Designed for Education blog

>> Discover our E-Rate eligible solutions

>> Read more about E-Rate and hybrid learning