Call for educators to be ‘€˜wireless-fit’

A survey by Icomms Technologies reveals only 52% of educators believe their wireless network is performing efficiently

IT service and support provider, Icomm Technologies has carried out a survey to expose the state of the UK’s wireless network capabilities across the education sector.

The survey – conducted at last month’s Education Innovation conference – reveals that 89% of educators acknowledge that wireless networks are a fundamental part of delivering an effective learning environment. However, only 52% of respondents said that their wireless networks were currently up to the job, with regular disconnection from the network cited as a key failing. 

The education sector is constantly striving to provide the latest technology in classrooms, but many educators are struggling to overcome the limitations of their wireless technology.

As a result, ineffective wireless structures are having a devastating impact on the learning process. A high proportion of the 24,328 school buildings in England do not have the optimum wireless network in place, a situation which can only worsen given the growing demand for wireless access in schools. Figures from the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA) suggest that almost a quarter (22%) of “pupil facing computers” will be tablets by the end of 2015.

The survey comes as part of a wider national campaign launched by Icomm to improve wireless capabilities within education buildings across the UK, in a bid to get educators ‘wireless-fit.’

As part of the campaign, Icomm will offer free wireless audits to schools and colleges throughout the UK. The audits, carried out by a CRB-cleared team from Icomm, will help educational institutions to assess the effectiveness of their existing wireless infrastructures – highlighting issues such as future capacity and the impact different building materials have on wireless performance.

Icomm Technologies’ Steve Buet, said: “With such a heavy reliance on mobile devices, failure of the wireless infrastructure can be catastrophic. All too often we visit schools where staff have lost confidence in the use of mobile technologies, with trolleys of laptops and tablets that sit dormant because the wireless network does not adequately support their use during lessons. Our recent survey backs this up, with a worryingly high amount of respondents lacking confidence in their existing wireless capabilities.”