One of the most ridiculous and frustrating features of Downers Grove is that the internet provided by the local Starbucks is more reliable than the Wi-Fi provided by the school district.
It’s widely known by staff and students alike that the internet has its fair share of problems. To start, the random disconnections. Occasionally, Google Drive won’t load. It seems as though any convenient and necessary academic website runs into a loading issue every fourth or fifth connection attempt.
However, the most frustrating thing about the internet’s many issues is that they are painfully obvious and should be fixable.
Currently, nodes in each classroom usually only have to support less than 30 devices being connected at each time. Even with only 30 connections, the nodes produce the inconvenient errors.
The key word there is “devices,” because with as many as 30 students in most classes and classrooms going 1:1 next year, the system is going to have to support much more than 30 devices.
Consider this: if every student has a laptop to use and is expected to use it, that is at least 30 devices connected.
Now, if only half the students connect their phones to the Wi-Fi, which happens often because DGN is a dead-zone for cellphone signal, the class is already above their usual numbers for connectivity.
No teachers can now connect to the Wi-Fi without issues, if a student is working in the hallway and their device attempts to connect to that class’s node, it can’t support it.
The main issue with connection issues is that by going 1:1, District 99 is effectively saying that they recognize the educational benefits of the internet. By not updating the nodes or connection ability of the school’s Wi-Fi despite the issues occurring after the school Wi-Fi was last updated in 2011, they are effectively disregarding the broad-range of issues that offering 1:1 can bring.
Offering 1:1 technology without also offering proper connection reduces the benefits of the technology. Thus, as an editorial staff, we say fix the internet or don’t embrace 1:1.
We simply cannot condone embracing one technological progression while ignoring the failing Wi-Fi infrastructure that is meant to compliment it.