As technology’s presence in our life grows, it becomes more necessary than ever to equip today’s youths with the skills to utilize it effectively. Both to teach these skills and augment learning, technology’s presence in the classroom is expanding. Managing the variety of networked devices, from mobile tech carts to interactive whiteboards, requires an increasingly complex network, time, and manpower that is already constantly demanded elsewhere. With the rXg, RG Nets’ engineers have designed a network gateway that not only decreases the required equipment footprint significantly, but streamlines and simplifies workflows while increasing network security and functionality. Packed with purpose-built features, the rXg is ready to transform your education network.
With hundreds of devices passing through the hands of an even greater number of students, keeping track becomes a priority. The rXg’s Device Location Tracking allows educators and staff members to quickly and easily locate every device, from mobile carts to desk phones. Specific channels for students, educators, staff, and guests can be easily configured with the necessary network and device access configured for each. With Custom Captive Portals, give end-users a network onboarding experience branded with your school’s logo and colors, collect necessary identifying information (such as Student and Staff ID numbers) to accurately track who is on the network. With the rXg’s seamless Third Party Integration, manage network and cloud-based programs, such as Security systems, directly through the rXg’s dashboard. Easily deploy networking and networked devices across campus and seamlessly roam between buildings with no interruption in service. Ensure students have no access to illegal, illicit, or distracting material with next-level Content Filtering, and keep their data safe with the rXg’s inbuilt Security features. At every level, the rXg is built with features to assist with and enhance every aspect of education and administrative management. To learn more, visit www.rgnets.com or speak to your RG Nets Representative today.
Technology is rapidly and continuously shifting the educational landscape. Acting both as a tool to augment learning, and the focus of lessons as teachers prepare their students for a technical world, schools are rushing to keep up. But rapid changes and a mix of software and hardware based learning solutions means an ever-more-complex back end is required to support students and teachers across the country. Schools want to keep technology current, but affordable; accessible, but manageable. Hiring more IT workers simply isn’t enough – school’s networking infrastructure must evolve as well to keep pace with the new gadgets filling classrooms. But how to keep up with demands without pouring endless amounts of manpower and money into the seemingly bottomless pit of tech? RG Nets’ engineers have designed the optimal solution – the rXg, a networking gateway that is streamlined, scalable, and completely customizable. Reducing costs, footprint, and manpower requirements, but never reducing performance, the rXg is built with your unique use cases in mind.
To explore how the rXg can augment and enhance students’ learning experiences, while streamlining workflows and keeping school networks secure, we will follow a student, Jill, through a day at her middle school.
Before heading to school, Jill double-checks her bag to ensure she has her school-issued tablet with her. Introduced to the school last year, every student has a personal device they use in nearly all of their classes. When she arrives at school, her devices automatically join the student network. At the beginning of the year, Jill created a personal login using her Student ID and a password of her choice that complies with the school’s security policies. The rXg intelligently recognized her login as a student one and placed her on the student channel.
With the rXg’s SD‑WAN, end users are distributed between three channels: student, staff, and educator. A fourth channel handles large, slow processes such as backups, and a fifth is in place for visitors and guests. These channels each have access to the appropriate amount of bandwidth and whichever network resources are applicable. Jill’s teacher gets access to the staff printer in the teacher’s lounge, while the administrative assistant can view the Security camera feeds periodically throughout the day. Paired with the rXg’s Fair Share Equalization, bandwidth is automatically distributed based on end-users’ needs and usage, ensuring that no one individual or classroom can dominate school resources and the network stays functional for all users throughout the day. The network is flexible, shifting resource distribution as needed and scaling with demand, even if hundreds of visiting parents and students were to attend the next inter-school sporting event.
While walking to class, Jill remembers that today a guest speaker is going to come and perform for the students. When the speaker arrives, he immediately tries to connect to the Wi-Fi. Seeing a guest channel listed, he selects it and is taken to a Custom Captive Portal. The portal is branded with the school’s colors and mascot and provides fields where the visiting speaker enters requested Personally Identifying Information (PII) and submits a request to join the network.
Using Sponsored Guest Self Registration, the rXg allows administrators to direct guest requests to join the network to the appropriate party, who can then manually or automatically grant access. During large school events, network administrators have configured the network to automatically approve access for users providing PII, as manually approving all requests would be cumbersome. But during day-to-day operation, requests are sent either to the tech team or the administrative assistant to approve. This allows school administrators to remain actively cognizant of who is on the network and campus. The administrative assistant accepts the speaker’s request, allowing him online and subsequently checking him in.
In class, Jill takes out her tablet to start the daily morning activity. Network administrators have configured the school’s Access Points so each teacher can easily monitor what their students are doing on devices in the classroom and share lessons, activities, and programs with the whole class simultaneously. Students can easily participate in learning games without needing to use room codes and without worrying about neighboring students jumping on. Seamless Roaming allows Jill’s devices to shift to the hallway Wi-Fi when she leaves class without her even noticing.
After morning activities, Jill and her class attend the guest speaker, have lunch, and recess. As each class leaves the speaker’s talk, students and teachers both receive a brief survey on their devices asking them how they liked the talk and what they learned from it. School administrators will use this feedback to measure which speakers resulted in the most engagement and growth for their students to plan future event calendars. When they return to class, Jill’s friend realizes she misplaced her tablet sometime after they left for the talk. Jill’s teacher uses Device Location Tracking to pinpoint its location to the lunch room and it is quickly retrieved. With Location Tracking, lost, misplaced, or stolen networked devices can be easily located and recovered. Additionally, as a security feature, administrators have alerts set up so that if a student or guest’s device is detected in an area of the school where they are not permitted, the school’s Security staff is automatically notified so they can ensure all is well.
A pop quiz is announced to much complaining from the students. Jill notices the student to her right is furiously trying to Google answers to the questions but is continuously thwarted by the rXg’s Content Filtering. Configured to filter different content on each of the school’s networks, it is most restrictive on the student and guest networks. All end users are unable to access illegal, inappropriate, or insecure sites, and content like social media feeds, websites that host answers to schoolwork assignments, and distracting content are filtered as needed per each network. Content Filtering, in addition to the rXg’s suite of Security Features ensures that students and their data stay safe on the network. VPNs are enabled for employees who may need to do work from home, ensuring that access to the school’s database and grading system is always secure.
Before Jill leaves for the day, she receives a notification on her device that she has two books due at the school library. The library staff have taken advantage of the rXg’s Events feature, which allows them to send notifications to staff and students when certain pre-set criteria are reached; in this case, a book’s due date. Jill stops by the library to return one and renew the other.
As she takes a later bus, she decides to stay and play a few education games on the library computers. Jill logs into the computer using the same Student ID and password combination she uses to access the network. This not only prevents unauthorized computer access, it also ensures that all of Jill’s digital activity at school is linked to her unique student account, part of the rXg’s Complete Cognizance model. If network administrators detect unusual or illicit network activity, they can easily identify which students are involved or affected. This allows for immediate response to both behavioral and technological issues.
Student pickup and bus loading at the end of the day is monitored by teachers, staff, and the school’s security system. Thanks to the rXg’s Third Party Integration, which allows for seamless integration between the rXg and third party hardware and software, security staff can monitor the security system directly through the rXg’s dashboard. Similarly, third party programs that the school utilizes which collect data on library use, class flow, after school activity attendance, and more, can be managed and monitored through the rXg’s dashboard. With the rXg’s Multiple PSK setup, administrators and staff members have unique logins that grant them access to the particular panes of the rXg dashboard most relevant to them. This streamlined management setup removes the needs for multiple system-specific logins, shared passwords, and other workflow and security hindrances.
After all students have left for the day, administrators have programmed the system to check for any student devices remaining on campus with Device Location Tracking. Any detected are located – if a student is still with the device, having wandered off from pickup, appropriate guardians are contacted. If the device has been left behind, it is securely stored in the Front Office for the student to pick up the next morning. At home, Jill is able to complete all of her homework and turn it in using her tablet – no more forgotten assignments at home! Her mother receives periodic updates from the school and her teacher notifying her of any upcoming projects, field trips, or other events. Jill’s mother is able to check Jill’s grades, class performance, and assignment list (preventing the need for panicked late night trips to buy poster board) and submit signed permission slips immediately and virtually. Between Jill and her sibling’s many activities and sports, they appreciate the convenience.
This document overviews how many of the rXg’s features benefit educational environments. For a more in-depth look at each feature, and to learn about additional rXg features to fit your unique needs and workflow, visit rgnets.com or click through to individual RG Nets Feature Briefs.
From install to ongoing management, RG Nets has taken every opportunity to provide value, customizability, ease of use, and profit sources to their customers and clients. The RG Nets’ rXg fits so well into every environment that it currently runs everything from individual home networks all the way to two of the top airports and one of the top three stadiums in the United States.
Its price-for-value cannot be beat, growing with your institution while retaining its affordability. The rXg’s integration with third-party hardware and software makes installation a breeze, no matter what mix of hardware and software currently utilized on site. Settings, once configured, can be easily cloned for quick deployment across chains, multi-site locations, and backups.
Whether a local pre-school or Big Five University, reach out to an RG Nets representative today to learn how the rXg can turn your network from a pitfall to breeze, improving end-user experience the whole way.