There are many reasons why a classroom may require wireless connectivity. In some situations, such as classrooms in older buildings, there may be no pathway available for cabling or the pathway may be blocked. Asbestos and insulation are common materials that may obstruct a cabling pathway in older school buildings. The cabling pathway may also already be filled by current or obsolete infrastructure. Another issue in some classrooms is the cost of running cabling through the walls or raceway may be too high. This high cost may be attributed to material removal or structural alterations required for the classroom in order to support the new cabling. Finally, some situations require that the teacher have maximum mobility within a single classroom or the ability to easily move to a different classroom.
In an environment where devices need to be mobile or it is difficult to make the connection with a cable, there are wireless solutions available. Blu-ray or DVD players may be connected to the classrooms projector using 60GHz technology, which is designed for the transmission of high-definition audio and video. This technology will typically allow for same room connectivity of up to 30ft. Control of the interactive whiteboard may also be a candidate for wireless connectivity. Some manufacturers offer an integrated wireless connectivity solution for control. If an integrated solution is not offered by the manufacturer, then it may be possible to make the connection through Ultra Wideband (UWB) solutions. UWB technology will typically allow for line of sight connectivity of up to 30ft.
Wireless connectivity is a solution for devices in the classroom that must be mobile, such as the teacher's laptop. UWB is ideal to connect the laptop to the projector and audio system. UWB gives mobility to the teacher and will not occupy space in the cabling pathways. UWB offers the best solution for classroom applications due to its low latency and ability for the signal to remain isolated to each individual classroom. A UWB system is composed of two parts: a transmitter unit that is attached to an available USB port on the computer, and a receiver that is connected to the display devices, i.e. the classroom's projector or audio system. The receiver will require a short cable to connect to the display device and power which can be obtained from the same source as the projector or audio system.
There is no "one size fits all" solution for wireless connectivity. Most classroom applications will require a mixed environment of wireless and wired connections. Finding the right mix of wireless and wired connectivity as it relates to each specific installation is key for ensuring that the system will meet the needs and requirements of the end user. Successfully deploying wireless in the classroom will provide both teachers and students with an invaluable resource which will allow for more effective communication of information.
This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.