Top three tips on school Wi-Fi network design from CoSN 2015

Last month, I attended the 2015 CoSN Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This event brings together some of the most innovative district technology teams, instructional technology directors, and digital education vendors from across the country. It was an inspiring three days of knowledge sharing and insightful conversations about technology enabling digital education in schools.

EducationSuperHighway was invited to join CoSN’s Smart Education Networks by Design workshop to share a demo of our new School Wi-Fi Buyer’s Guide. This tool, which launched in public beta in March, helps tech directors and wireless procurement specialists choose the Wi-Fi equipment and features that are best for their K-12 learning environments. During the workshop, I shared these top tips from the School Wi-Fi Buyer’s Guide:

  1. Don’t neglect the site survey. Conducting a site survey and establishing the right network design are critical for optimizing cost and performance of a district’s wireless network.
  2. Devices make a difference. The types of client devices on the wireless network have a major impact on wireless solution requirements, so assess your devices before you select a solution.
  3. Management time is money. Getting a wireless network that is easy to manage can come at a cost; make sure you understand the trade-off between price and maintenance time required as you build your budget and select a solution.

We invite you to read up on these topics and learn more by visiting the School Wi-Fi Buyer’s Guide. We’d also like to hear from you! Tell us what you think about the guide by submitting your feedback here.


I left the CoSN Conference feeling energized about the possibilities of this talented and passionate group of school leaders, but aware that there are hefty challenges districts continue to face when it comes to their networks. It is clear that across the board money is tight. District tech teams are spread too thin, and there is not much room in district budgets to hire additional talent. We hope that our programs and tools, like the Buyer’s Guide, will alleviate this strain by helping school districts find ways to stretch their budgets and get the most bandwidth to support digital learning.

Explore the beta version of the School Wi-Fi Buyer’s Guide and let us know what you think. Does the guide help you research and understand your wireless equipment and feature options? Submit your feedback. Or comment below to share the top challenges that your school district faces in implementing wireless network infrastructure.