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November 8, 2013

Three Mistakes Schools Make With BYOD

Mobile devices and education are nearly synonymous these days. Higher education students are bringing more than 3 Wi-Fi-enabled devices with them to campus. Students in K-12 are bringing smartphones/iPod touches, kindles, tablets and laptops which are used for digital textbooks and on-line testing. The explosion of these powerful mobile devices put desktop applications into the hands of students, while the latest Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11n and the introduction of 802.11ac eliminate the need for wires. All these Wi-Fi devices can create havoc on the educational institution’s Wireless LAN and overload an IT department or administrator. The challenge for IT is how to on-board all these devices securely and apply the appropriate policy for network access to protect the network, resources, and individuals using the network.

This has led to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which started simply enough, how to on-board all these devices without a manual setup or registration of MAC addresses by users or IT staff. However, BYOD is beyond simple on boarding. It is about identifying the student, authenticating that student, and then on-boarding student devices with secure connections while provisioning that device with the appropriate access.

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