UITS

Tips for using wireless in the classroom at IU

Although IU Secure wireless coverage is widely available on all 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 support. Email Campus Network Engineering.
  • 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 channels.
  • 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.

For help, contact your campus Support Center.

This is document bbba in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2014-08-21.

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