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You’ve probably heard about HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program to rebuild or renovate 40 schools across the district. But did you know that $100 million of that funding has been earmarked to upgrade technology infrastructure at all HISD schools?
Once complete, the enhanced digital framework will provide expanded internet access throughout each campus, allowing for the delivery of more robust online instructional resources to classrooms and mobile devices.
“Each school has tablets and laptops available for use in the classroom, meaning that as many as 30 devices are in use in close proximity,” said Lenny Schad, HISD’s Chief Technology Information Officer. “Expanding the district’s Wi-Fi capability at all campuses will allow us to provide sufficient access for a large number of devices and also will support our mobile learning initiative in a cost-effective way.”
The Wi-Fi infrastructure that was originally installed on HISD campuses was intended for use in administrative functions and has limited signal strength for wider use in classroom instruction. The new equipment will give all students in the classroom simultaneous access to high-speed internet.
Technology projects in the bond program scope include:
- The wireless network at every HISD school will be expanded to provide internet access throughout the campus. Most classrooms will be fitted with their own wireless access points.
- Instructional delivery devices, such as projectors and interactive televisions and whiteboards, will be installed in classrooms across the district. This will provide teachers with a common ground to share and collaborate with one another through a standard, interactive learning environment.
- Telephone systems at schools throughout HISD will be updated to ensure every permanent classroom is equipped with a fully functional telephone. This upgrade is necessary to enhance classroom safety.
- Outdated network equipment throughout HISD will be upgraded or replaced to ensure that all data traffic travels efficiently within and between schools and to and from the internet.
Last summer HISD began migrating all telephones to Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which is a digital telephone solution that transmits calls over the same data network that the computer uses. Other technology upgrades are ongoing.