Wirelessly connecting teachers and students

Cisco Systems

Wenona School is a non-denominational day and boarding school educating around 800 girls from kindergarten to year 12. The main senior campus and a junior campus are on Walker Street in North Sydney, with an additional campus on Miller Street. The school operates a laptop program for full-time academic staff and girls from Year Six to Year 10.

Over 500 students and teachers use the blanket wireless coverage across the school's three campuses. Students upload work through submission boxes on the online school portal, where teachers can immediately access it from within the school grounds.

Wenona School's wireless network was deployed by Accucom Systems Integration and features 40 Cisco 1200 Series wireless access points. The wireless local area network is underpinned by a fibre-optic network that powers the school's desktop computers and connects the Miller Street, Walker Street and Junior School campuses.

The network is based on three Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and around 40 Cisco Catalyst 2950 Series switches, with two Cisco 800 Series integrated services routers providing internet access to the school.

Director of information technology at Wenona School, Jennifer Sharman said: "The girls at Wenona sit outside at lunchtime with their laptops open, finishing work or sharing information. The wireless connection also means they can easily access network software that is not loaded onto their computers."

With students accessing

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the portal so regularly, it has become an effective way to post daily news bulletins such as changes to classes or afternoon sporting activities. Multimedia learning is also gaining significant ground at Wenona School with teachers connecting their laptops to projectors in technology classrooms and displaying project work on classroom screens.

"Wenona's technology enables our teachers to engage our students in innovative ways," said Sharman. "Our approach with laptops and wireless allows Wenona to provide its students with 'learning anytime, anywhere'."

Wenona School's online learning facilities are also helping to reduce costs associated with photocopying and printing, something school administrators are encouraging in their quest to achieve a paperless environment. Resources that were previously copied, such as lesson notes, are now uploaded to the school portal and viewed on screen.

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