Category Archives: Uncategorized

Expanded outdoor Internet access helps students, teachers, and community

Expanded outdoor Internet access helps students, teachers, and community

By: Carl Roberts, Carroll County School District


With spring sports ramping up, the Carroll County School District is pleased to announce the expansion of its outdoor Wi-Fi Internet access around the baseball and softball fields at Carroll County High School, the football field and the Cartmell playground. The wireless access points needed for the Wi-Fi expansion were purchased through the Race to the Top kid-FRIENDLy (Kids Focused, Responsible, Imaginative, Engaged and Determined to Learn) grant being led by the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative and the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative.

“Community members can connect as guests through the ‘CCS_Guest’ network for free, high-speed Internet service,” said Zachary Dean, network systems administrator for the district. “As parents and community members visit these areas of the district, they should see that the guest network is available on their devices. No password is required for guest access.”

Students and staff using district-owned devices will automatically be connected to the regular district network as if they are inside any of the district’s buildings.

Users who connect to the “CCS_Guest” network will access the Internet through the district’s universal content filter, which is in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and is the same content filter used for student-generated web browsing. Furthermore, guest Internet traffic is routed through a sequestered part of the network for additional security.

“We hope this is a convenience for our community members,” Dean said. “However, we see this making a big impact on the type of learning that can take place outside of the classroom for our students.”

While expanded community access is an important part of the Wi-Fi expansion, the main purpose is to expand the district’s secure data network to areas outside for student use. This will allow teachers to fully utilize mobile technology outside of the classroom. Whether science classes are logging data from outdoor observations or English classes are working on descriptive writing, the outdoor Wi-Fi access points will allow students and teachers to connect to the district’s network, to utilize network drives and to collaborate online.

One objective of the kid-FRIENDLy grant is to redefine the concepts of time and location in terms of learning. In other words, learning can and should happen outside of the classroom. Furthermore, rather than see learning outside of the classroom as a rare treat for students, schools are starting to view it as an expectation for teachers in their instruction. Expanded outdoor Internet access lets teachers and students utilize learning devices wherever they go.

“What’s great about this is that we have been able to leverage these grant funds in a way that benefits our students, our teachers and our community members,” Dean said. “Whether students are doing homework or coaches are checking the weather between innings of a baseball game, our network will be there to meet their needs.”

Carl Roberts is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.