Reliability of internet connection at CHS could improve if students are able to directly report issues

HiLite Staff

For most students, connecting to this school’s Wi-Fi is easy. All one needs to do is input the unique username and password made for the school’s computers in the appropriate blanks when prompted. Yet, once connected, many students complain that the Wi-Fi is slow in certain parts of the building or doesn’t work when needed. To avoid these perceived problems, some students stay on data throughout the whole day or switch between data and Wi-Fi depending on which one is working faster.

According to Barry Neuman, wireless and networking specialist at this school, the whole school has a minimum coverage of Wi-Fi that should be sufficient for students to use. He said each classroom has an access point and each of the main areas have a couple of access points in them. He also said the last time the access points were updated was the summer of 2017, falling within what he considers a normal five-year window.

Although the school’s Wi-Fi is supposed to meet a certain level, Joseph Schaller, assistant principal in charge of operations, said the only way technicians know the Wi-Fi is failing or is slow is through teacher reports. Usually, teachers email Schaller directly or lodge a complaint to the school’s technical staff so the problem can be fixed.

Neuman said the technical staff usually responds to these problems within a day, meaning that from their point of view, problems are fixed relatively quickly. But for students, most of whom are usually on their devices, the time from when they notice the problem to when it is actually fixed usually seems longer because they are the first to notice problems with the Wi-Fi. This can lead to a disconnect between staff and student perceptions of the Wi-Fi.

To fix this disconnect, students should talk to a staff member or teacher as soon as they notice a problem with the Wi-Fi. That way staff can notify the technicians of a problem much sooner than they otherwise would have.

One solution the school could implement that would lead to fixing Wi-Fi problems sooner is a reporting system that would allow students to directly submit their Wi-Fi issues. Much like students talking to their teachers, a direct reporting system would help technicians know earlier when the Wi-Fi is down. Furthermore, a direct reporting system would allow technicians to analyze a Wi-Fi problem to a greater extent because they would get valuable information on the parts of the school that have no staff or a limited staff presence.

Overall, the Wi-Fi in the school is proficient, for the most part. But, with a couple of additional tweaks—specifically having students go to staff with their Wi-Fi problems and implementing a reporting system in which students can directly report their issues to technicians—an adequate Wi-Fi connection could become even better.

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