Wireless internet will be available to students next year


Megan Kearney

Wireless internet will be available to students and staff next school year. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
Wireless internet will be available to students and staff next school year. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

With the increasing use of electronic devices to provide information, immediate access to the internet is becoming more valuable. Foothill is taking steps to make this connection more readily available and expand the ability for students and staff to gain information on personal devices. Starting next school year, students and staff will be able to access wireless internet on campus.

Principal Joe Bova and staff have been working toward going wireless for a while, but with budget limitations there hasn’t been any money to fund it.

Bova recently spoke with some parents that had raised money about 6 or 7 years ago. There was approximately $46,000 sitting in Ventura County Community Foundation‘s account that they wanted to spend. In the fall Bova met with foundation members to discuss the options and decided to move the money into the ASB account.

“With the foundation we talked about the goals for the school,” Bova said.  “Getting the WiFi was one of our goals and we felt it was an important purchase for the school so once we get the wireless then we could do a lot of different things within the school.”

Bova said that he sees different forms of personal devices floating among students at school, and sees the opportunities that some other schools have take advantage of. Some schools have purchased individual net books for students and others allow students to bring their own laptops to school.

History and English teacher Robin Houlahan feels there are many possibilities for students and faculty to use the wireless internet within the classrooms.

“I feel we could use Twitter to write a poem in class, or post videos of activities that happened in your class right away and you can access information if there is ever any questions,” Houlahan said.

Foothill’s technology specialist, Katie Tedford, has contributed to the acquisition of the wireless internet.

“It allows teachers to utilize the technology they are already using, and allows students to participate,” Tedford said.

The wireless internet will not affect the speed of the computers, but Bova and Tedford are helping to work on the replacement of switches on campus that has been funded by the district. The current switches are the original ones installed when Foothill opened its doors to students eleven years ago. Improving the switches will increase the speed of all internet connectivity on campus.

There will be limits on the wireless access for students and staff. The school will choose to either have each individual device logged in or have a guest pass code. The WiFi will be under the filter system of the district, meaning students won’t be able to access websites blocked by the administration off wireless devices.

“Our hope is to let students have more open access to the internet through the wireless, but we don’t know what the district’s decision will be about that,” Bova said.

“I feel like our school is stepping more into the current century, it is meeting up with the twenty first century,” Houlahan said.

What do you think?