Bryanston School, a co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils, has transformed its 400 acre site into a smart, secure and connected digital learning hub using technology solutions from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
By overcoming the challenges of its rural location, Grade I-listed architecture and expectations of seamless mobile connectivity, the Aruba network provides quick and secure access for its 670+ mainly residential students as well as 300 staff throughout the Bryanston School campus, consisting of more than 30 buildings.
Today, the Bryanston campus is covered by over 400 Aruba 802.11ac wireless access points, managed by two Mobility Controllers. This has allowed Bryanston to explore the opportunities of digital learning, leading to several new technological innovations including:
• Boardingware – Boardingware is a software solution for staff, pupils and parents of children who attend boarding school. Staff can track records and optimise boarding processes. As Bryanston School pupils log their activity on stationary tablets around the school, a smartphone app on teachers’ phones displays this data so they know who is on site and in their care – and who is off-site – at any given time. The school is then able to analyse how pupils are spending their time to help inform good practice.
• eLockers – eLockers is a shared learning portal for pupils and staff, which allows access to relevant resources depending on location. It works as a drop folder where teachers and pupils can upload resources (including video clips or PowerPoints), and pupils can upload assignments and take group feedback.
• Aruba Beacons – used together with the Aruba Meridian platform and eLockers, this allows the “pinning” of resources to a physical location – this lets pupils activate the resources when they move close to the Beacon via their mobile devices. They then complete the task and move to the next Beacon. This research is yet another way in which Bryanston helps its pupils to work at their own speed and helps teachers to work more with individuals.
• Bryanston eChart – eChart is a custom Bryanston app. It allows teachers to mark pupils’ work, and for this assessment to be shared with parents, houseparents and tutors – a significant service adding to the first-class education. For pupils, eChart delivers a more consistent, more immediate and engaging feedback loop which forms the basis of a weekly one-to-one discussion with the tutor. Tutors can leave audio or visual annotations to work, progress can be reviewed over time. eChart is a huge part of the pupil’s and staff’s day to day working, with the concept being to keep the conversation open and on-going between pupils and staff, eChart access is available across the whole campus via Aruba access points, allowing instant access to the portal.
• Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager – For an IT team, advanced information collected and secured via a network can be analysed and accessed with ClearPass meaning more precise observations and learnings can be taken. ClearPass integrated with iBoss Secure Web Gateway lets a school block access to certain sites, and close down network access for certain age groups at certain times, whilst still allowing users flexibility in the devices they use. Adding to this, pupils are able to onboard devices safely and securely to the school network with minimal technical support, allowing management staff to simply monitor activity and access levels to the network.
• Aruba AirWave Network Management – used in conjunction with ClearPass to ensure visibility, clear diagnostics and planning capabilities for the school wired and wireless network. Devices can be tracked at any location within the school and faults quickly rectified. Future building plans are also modelled within AirWave to allow capacity checks and simulations even before a building is commissioned.
Andy Barnes, director of technology, Bryanston School, said: “It’s important that technology is a help and not a hindrance to how our students learn, interact and socialise. The depth of network resources Aruba has introduced us has transformed the learning experiences we are able to provide. Learning materials and additional support is more accessible, and digital learning provides infinite opportunities for us to create a community of sharing, support and creativity.”
“Digital learning solutions are a smart way for students to work, and Bryanston is a great example of a school that has implemented the digital workplace to better the education experience they offer” said Jon Moger, Senior Director EMEA Marketing at Aruba. “We provide these technological solutions to empower a new generation of users who rely on their devices for everyday activities, including education from learning to teaching or management.”