Say hi to Wi-Fi: SHS starts Wi-Fi network

April 16, 2009 — by Shannon Galvin and Apeksha Sharma

After several years of consideration and a couple months of installation, students can now wirelessly log on to the Internet on their own laptops and iPods. Students now have the ability to conduct research for a school project on their laptop or check their e-mail at lunch.

Over spring break, the network was finalized with coverage for most of the campus. To maintain a budget, the school bought parts separately and the technology staff installed the network themselves.

Previous and limited wireless networks previously existed for the math wing’s laptops, Journalism computers and the MAP program. The district recently expanded the service to be school wide after superintendent Cary Matsuoka helped the idea gain more force after he took the job.

To log in, students need the username and password they currently use for the school-owned computers in the library and computer lab. The school is then able to track who is using the network.

The school’s tech coordinator Julie Grenier sees the expanded wireless network as a great communication tool for students.

“[Students] will be able to bring their own laptops and hook up in the library and work there. They’ll also be able to access the Internet on their iPhones and other media devices,” said Grenier.

In exchange for this privilege, students need to exercise good judgment as to the usage of the wireless network. For example, students aren’t allowed to use it in class without teacher permission. Regular school policies on Internet use still apply and the Internet filter is still in place.

Students expressed gratitude upon hearing that the district took the steps to install a network.

“It [will] be really helpful for group projects,” said sophomore David Chang. “If someone brought a laptop to school, then we could work on the project anywhere, not just the library.”

Math teacher Kelly Frangieh currently uses the Internet in her classes using the laptops and network situated in the math wing.

“My Sequential Geometry class is a great avenue to use the technology,” she said. “We purchased new textbooks for the program this year and there are a lot of online resources available. I have the students pair up and go to the online site and do a mini-quiz. They enter their answers to a quick 5-question quiz and then can immediately email me their results.”

With the new school-wide network, more teachers have the ability to take advantage of the array of resources on the Internet. Frangieh also plans to try taking advantage of the wireless network to try enhance the usability of existing technology as well.

“I got a Smartboard in my room recently,” said Frangieh. “If it ends up working at some point, it has wireless capabilities and I could potentially use my laptop with the smartboard.”

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