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Regis College Deploys Campus-Wide Wireless for Classroom Without Walls

Regis College has completed the implementation of a campus-wide wireless local area network (LAN) to support its large-scale iPad initiative and "classroom without walls" philosophy.

The college issued 1,200 iPads to students and faculty at the beginning of this school year and will provide the devices to all incoming students. The iPad initiative is part of the college's "classroom without walls" environment, which aims to provide students with access to educational materials, lectures, notes, and applications from all areas of campus at any time. To support this initiative, the college needed to implement a new wireless LAN.

Administrators evaluated a number of solutions before choosing a system from Aruba Networks. The college worked with Integration Partners of Lexington, MA to install Aruba mobility controllers, 400 wireless access points, the AirWave Network Management System, and ClearPass Policy Manager. The implementation was completed in three months, in time for the start of the school year.

The college is using Aruba's ClearPass Policy Manager to centrally manage and enforce user- and device-based access policies including registration for Apple Bonjour-enabled devices. Bonjour is an Apple protocol for discovering and connecting to devices on the network, such as printers and other computers. According to Manav Khurana, senior director of product and solutions marketing, the Aruba solutions excels at handling the Apple Bonjour protocol and iPad-based traffic. “This is key for the education sector where colleges like Regis are distributing iPads to students and faculty and want to ensure a reliable, consistent experience," said Khurana in a prepared statement.

With the new wireless LAN, students can now use their iPads to access the Moodle learning management system (LMS), display and share iPad content in the classroom with AirServer, and use other applications, such as iLife, iWork, eClicker, Adobe Connect, and iBooks Author. In the fall, the college will expand the iPad initiative to its graduate programs.

“We knew robust, ubiquitous wireless was absolutely key to allowing our students and faculty to experience the ‘classroom without walls’,” said Marla Botelho, CIO for Regis College, in a prepared statement. “Since completing our deployment, the performance of the network has been excellent, and we’ve seen rapid adoption of wireless and our iPad initiative by our entire campus population. In fact, the first week the network went live, half of all the traffic going to our learning management system, Moodle, alone, was via iPads leveraging the wireless network.”

Regis College is a Catholic liberal arts and sciences college located in Weston, MA, 12 miles west of Boston. The college serves more than 1,900 undergraduate and graduate students and employs 177 faculty.

Further information about Aruba wireless LAN solutions can be found at arubanetworks.com.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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