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Do Students Really Benefit From Wireless Classrooms?

1345 words - 5 pages

IntroductionThe days of being tied to a desktop PC are over, and the age of the laptop has taken over. Flexibility and mobility have now become absolute standards for using technology in education. In this discourse, several topics will be discussed: first, defining what exactly wireless is; focusing on the two main types of wireless networks that are used today; second, the usage of wireless technology will be discussed, focusing in on specifically how school are suing wireless networks to benefit their students; and last, the Pros and Cons of wireless networking will be discussed, focusing on both the positive and negative sides of setting up and using a wireless network system.Wireless: DefinedWireless was an old-fashioned term for a radio receiver, referring to its use as a wireless telegraph; but in today's day and age, wireless is a term used to refer to network-type communications that take place without physical connections (wires), such as in cell phone networks and wireless broadband Internet. The two most common forms of wireless networks are Bluetooth and Wifi.According to the official Bluetooth website (2006), Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices like personal digital assistants (PDA), mobile phones, laptops, PCs, and printers via secure, low-cost short range radio frequencies. Bluetooth lets these devices talk to each other when they come in range, even if they are not in the same room, as long as they are within up to 100 meters (or 30 feet) of each other, dependent on the power class of the product.From the information obtained at the website HowStuffWorks.com (2006), Wifi was originally intended to be used for mobile devices and Local Area Networks, but is now often used for Internet access. It enables a person with a wireless-enabled computer or personal digital assistant to connect to the Internet when in closeness of an access point. The geographical region covered by one or several access points is called a hotspot.How wireless technology is used in schoolsSome schools are using wireless technology to completely rid themselves of old fashion teaching methods; in one specific case, textbooks. According to an article from 2005 in District Administrator magazine, Empire High School in Tucson, Arizona is completely doing away with the traditional textbook. This is how there system works. At the beginning of the school year, students are given a laptop to use throughout the entire school year; parents can pay $54 for an insurance policy, or assume total responsibility of the machine. While at school, students use the campus' wireless network as part of daily classes; at home they use the machine to download, complete, and turn in their homework. Teachers also use academic online and electronic sources to teach lessons, as opposed to the traditional teaching from the book.An article published in the District Administrator (2006) contends that "wireless access with giving the students more...

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