Tips for using wireless in the classroom at IU
Although IU Secure wireless coverage is widely available on the Indiana University Bloomington and IUPUI campuses, large numbers of people using the wireless in the same area at the same time can result in a poor experience. There are many challenges for large groups of Wi-Fi users in a given area (such as a classroom), but the following tips will maximize your potential for success.
Contact UITS regarding the wireless capacity of
your classroom. If you plan on your students using wireless
in the classroom, contact UITS with the classroom location and class
size. UITS should be able to make a preliminary assessment of the
number of Wi-Fi clients your classroom should reasonably
Don't predicate time-sensitive activities on the use of
wireless service. Wireless works most of the time, but
because of high usage by numerous devices, availability in classrooms
can't be guaranteed. For example, Wi-Fi clients in nearby hallways
and classrooms (including those above or below your classroom) can
consume the bandwidth of access points servicing your
classroom. Therefore, don't predicate time-sensitive activities on the
use of wireless service, and do not depend on wireless to deliver
tests. It's always best to have a backup plan for class activities in
case wireless service is unavailable.
Turn off unnecessary Wi-Fi devices. Ask your
students to turn off or put to sleep smartphones, iPods, and any other
Wi-Fi-enabled devices that are not being used as part of the class.
Devices left on may consume bandwidth and reduce service for the
devices you want your students to use.
Encourage the use of 802.11n (5 GHz) clients. The
802.11b/g/n client space is generally more congested and traditionally
has more sources of interference than the 5 GHz space, so UITS
encourages everyone to use 5 GHz 802.11n-capable clients. Many mobile
clients, such as phones and tablets, support 802.11n only in 2.4 GHz
frequencies, though some support 802.11n at 5 GHz. For example, the HP
Slate 500 only supports 802.11n in 2.4 GHz, while the iPad 2
supports 802.11n 5 GHz operation. Both devices will work, but the
iPad 2 will have a much better Wi-Fi experience using 5 GHz
channels, while the HP Slate 500 will use the more congested 2.4 GHz
- Encourage students to update wireless drivers. The driver is the piece of software that controls the operation of the Wi-Fi radio on the client. Client issues are among the top reasons for wireless service problems, especially in large enterprise environments. You can often resolve issues with connectivity by upgrading to the latest version of the wireless driver on your device.
If you experience problems with the wireless network, contact the Support Center.
Last modified on February 12, 2013.