Data and Capacity

Smart Education Networks by Design (SEND)

Data comes in many forms, from simple e-mails to streaming videos. Thus, networks must be designed to effectively accommodate transfer of such data and provide a positive user experience. Data itself is essential to understand, but other components are crucial to determining capacity, including the number of users on the network and whether connections are wired or wireless. Those pieces together give you an estimate of the minimum network capacity.

The primary question among network designers is a familiar one‘Do we have enough bandwidth, both Internet and local?’ The answer depends on the amount of data in classes, lessons, and learning objects that need to be supported and the number of simultaneous users. This varies by the location of the digital resources, the format and type of media, hosting location, and the time needed for student learning.

In school settings, the classroom remains the dominant location for instruction and learning. Regardless of trends toward flipped classroom models and 24/7 learning, education network designers must still effectively support the more traditional classroom instruction model with its spatial and density requirements. Other on-campus settings tend to simply be less-dense variants of the classroom and can be enhanced as needed for BYOD and 1-to-1. With the introduction of 1-to-1 programs, the entire school becomes a learning environment with attending requisite connectivity and capacity needs. As these trends progress, any large physical space can suddenly become a high-density use area, such as library media centers, lecture or performance halls, student study areas (inside or outdoors), and even cafeterias.

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