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Networking & Wireless

WiFi Upgrade Enhances Collaboration at Mitchell Technical Institute

MTI students

South Dakota's Mitchell Technical Institute recently rolled out a new WiFi network to enable collaboration and meet the expectations of students and faculty. The institution turned to network infrastructure from Aruba, including WiFi 6 access points, mobility controllers, access switches, AirWave network management and ClearPass access control.

Goals for the implementation included:

  • Performance and reliability to enable classroom applications and software-based learning programs;
  • Integration with the school's Microsoft Teams and Intune systems;
  • The ability to segment and secure devices on the wireless and wired network; and
  • Support for student-owned mobile devices as well as Internet of Things devices such as the school's security cameras and HVAC systems.

The new network is "helping MTI enable crucial applications that meet the institution's goals of innovation, collaboration and global workforce preparation," according to a news announcement. For example, in courses on the design, building and repair of engineering automation controls, students learn to remotely manage the controls via the wireless network, and instructors use Microsoft Teams to wirelessly share their screens with student devices. "The Aruba WiFi has delivered this increased performance and quality so instructors and students can collaborate and work together without any of the lag time we experienced previously," explained David Boos, MTI's director of technology, in a statement.

In addition, students can now use their mobile devices to log into the MTI's learning management system for coursework and tests, as well as the school's Jenzabar ERP system, the announcement said. The network also provides secure wireless access for campus events such as MTI's VEX robotics tournament.

On the back end, integration between Aruba's ClearPass and MTI's Microsoft Intune mobile device management and mobile application management systems is streamlining access control, Boos said: "Combining ClearPass with Microsoft Intune simplified everything for our team, dramatically increasing reliability and gaining better insights on our wireless network." MTI plans to transition its wired network to ClearPass "in the near future."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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