Founded in 1951, Fukien Secondary School is a co-ed institution that provides a humanistic education approach to help students develop their potential. Since 1991, the School has been operating under the Direct Subsidiary Scheme, which affords greater flexibility and independence in curriculum design, resource usage and staffing.
Fostering multiple-intelligence approach and applying advanced information technology in its instructional methodology have been the hallmarks of Fukien Secondary School. Building on the strength of the millennium school design, the campus is further equipped with enhanced communications capabilities, including a broadband network that connects 33 classrooms and 18 multi-function rooms. There is also an Extranet and Intranet for both information-sharing and Internet-based learning.
Facilitating teaching needs
There are more than 500 computers installed on campus for interactive online study, however, not all areas are suitable for fibre optic network deployment. “Non-teaching areas such as the teacher’s room and library are well-equipped with Internet-connected computers. However, other areas such as the school hall and indoor heated swimming pool are still not suitable for wired network deployment due to geographic and structural barriers, which in turn may hinder Internet teaching. Providing an Internet-connected campus network could facilitate creativity and flexibility in teaching, giving teachers secure access to resources from any location to help students become better prepared for a technology-based society,” said, Dr. Lam Kin-wah, MH, Principal of Fukien Secondary School.
Wharf T&T has selected Ruckus Wireless as project partner to install a Ruckus ZoneDirector Controller and seven sets of Ruckus ZF2925 Access Points (AP) at the Fukien Secondary School. This solution is equipped with an integrated smart antenna system optimised for high-density WiFi environments and enables client devices to communicate over longer distances at higher speeds. By automatically steering WiFi signals around interference, it eliminates the need to place each AP in a designated location. Moreover, the continuous channel selection function delivers the most optimal performance by ensuring that the best channel is always used. The most advanced authentication and link layer security options also assure the highest levels of security.
Dr. Lam Kin-wah, MH, Principal of Fukien Secondary School
Humidity control is the biggest challenge for the project. “We are impressed with the professional knowledge and attentive services from Wharf T&T’s team. Among all the other short-listed vendors, Wharf T&T was the only service provider that alerted us to the impact of installing an AP in a humid room, and for higher stability and durability they recommended that we use a dehumidifier cabinet to protect the AP installed in the indoor heated swimming pool. This is what an experienced ICT partner does for you,” added Mr. Sit Kwok-wing, Head of the IT Department at the Fukien Secondary School.
Creative teaching arrives with help of WiFi
Wharf T&T provided a one-stop, end-to-end solution for the School. From network design, planning, and implementation to after-sales service support, Wharf T&T offered expert advice and consultations which were practical and appropriate for the specific requirements of the School. “In just two weeks, Wharf T&T helped us achieve reliable and stable wireless coverage for those areas where the installation of fixed line broadband is not suitable. Wireless networks allow schools at all levels to provide a wide range of applications throughout their facilities without expensive rewiring. This gives students and teachers access to network resources for more flexible and creative course designs,” said Mr. Sit.
How does WiFi technology help creative teaching in the School? “A commerce course teacher once led the students in conducting interactive online business activity through wireless connections in the school snack shop. This allowed students to gain a greater understanding of its operation from experience-based learning. A social worker also led a class discussion in the School’s open area using a laptop computer for online counselling,” added Mr. Sit, who commented on wireless usage at the campus.
Paving the way for classrooms of the future
Faced with new Academic Reform, all schools are now working hard to adjust to the new “3-3-4” education framework slated for implementation in September 2009. “Wharf T&T’s wireless solution has enhanced our teaching capabilities to cope with the new education system. Not only did it increase mobility and flexibility in curriculum design, but also paved the way for future deployment of e-books. Last but not least, working with key ICT innovators like Wharf T&T, the School has laid the foundations for staying on the leading edge of technology to address both the education system and technological changes,” added Dr. Lam.
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