New ICT kit aids learning for youngsters

27 March 2019

Bottesford Infant School, Scunthorpe, has just over 200 pupils aged five–seven and 22 staff. When they returned this year, the school had been fitted out with brand new IT equipment.

Problems had been arising because it was using a remote server and suffered slow Wi-Fi response. It meant network downtime and disruption to classes. The school contacted Education Lincs, based in Humberston, Grimsby. The company was founded in 1998 by Tony Kiddle, who began his career as a teacher of technology and is a former member of the advisory team at Humberside County Council. Initially the company served local schools and now claims to support 500 schools nationally.

Education Lincs equipped the school with products from Zyxel. They include Nebula cloud network management, NAP102 802.11ac dual-radio Nebula cloud managed access points to improve Wi-Fi throughput and coverage, and PoE switches.

Now a new centralised server connects 120 iPads, eight 70-inch interactive screens with Wi-Fi, nine laptops and 10 desktop PCs. And control has moved to the school. There is no need for dedicated ICT technicians; staff can manage the network remotely, view usage, traffic and loading and quickly make any necessary changes.

Education Lincs said the equipment offered reasonable cost and speed of installation – it took just three hours to fully complete. Education Lincs says it uses Zyxel’s gigabit switches to ensure that the network is running at a fast and stable speed for tasks from printing to powering PoE devices on the network. The company says that small Nebula access points provide strong coverage for all mobile devices around the school, supporting activities such as streaming videos in the classroom or browsing the web in the staffroom.

Bottesford’s admin officer, Lesley Zetterstrom, said: “This upgraded network solution marks a new milestone for our school.” Pupils and teachers found real-time access to information made learning and teaching more interactive and stimulating.

Education Lincs says it has installed Zyxel products in 18 schools in two years and says they cost less than the price of a license renewal for other equipment. It planned to do the same for another 27 schools.