The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

Frustration runs high as Wi-Fi readied for use

Frustration runs high as Wi-Fi readied for use

Technical issues, not procedural, are behind the open Wi-Fi delay at the high school. A glitch in the system has made the Wi-Fi network unstable and the district tech team has been working to pin-point the main issue. For many in administration, this delay is very frustrating.

“I’m frustrated we’ve had difficulty getting the Wi-Fi stable,” said principal Tom Chambers.

District Technology Supervisor Peggy Gordon, who has been working to fix multiple errors with the Wi-Fi system, shares the feeling.

“I am definitely frustrated that it’s not working correctly,” said Gordon.

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“The biggest technical difficulty,” according to district System Support Specialist Ben Woof, “is a glitch in the process that controls the logging in on the open Wi-Fi. When it works, it works very well, but if it glitches then the wireless controller won’t let anyone log into the open Wi-Fi until the controller is restarted.”

The district is working with outside companies to try to solve the issue.

“We are working with both the company that installed the Wi-Fi system and the company that we outsource some of our networking with,” said Gordon. “ So far, we have not been able to pin down the reason for the glitch in the system.”

The only solution the technology team has found to solving the bug is to restart the entire system. However, according to Woof, that just isn’t practical.

“Restarting the wireless controller is only a ‘quick fix’, but disrupts the private Wi-Fi as well for the duration, so it is not practical to do during the school day,” said Woof.

Kinks in a system of this magnitude can cause major problems in an instructional day according to Gordon, so the team feels it’s necessary to make sure everything is working well before they hand it off to students.

“I think that it is important to realize that we want the Wi-Fi to work seamlessly before we open it up to students and staff,” said district Technology Integration Coach Beth Lisowski.

The Wi-Fi, although not open to students, has undergone tests by staff and administration. They, however, have seen their fair share of problems.

“We’re trying to get it working so that it’s reliable,” said Chambers. “The staff has been trying it, but has not been real successful with it.”

One of the problems included a firmware update that disabled a part of the access points. This caused for issues in the private Wi-Fi that district computers use.

“A firmware update disabled around 36 of the 111 access points we have in the district,” said Woof. “The biggest issue with that was that it affected the private Wi-Fi that the districts laptops use.”Administration and technology staff do not want to see students and staff get frustrated and discouraged with a system that just doesn’t work.“We don’t want teachers and students to lose their excitement about using personal devices in the classroom because the Wi-Fi isn’t working,” said Lisowski.

Expect to see Wi-Fi in the high school soon.

“When we solve this technical issue,” said Woof, “then the system will be completely ready.”


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    Andrea HoffmanDec 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Very nice interview. I hope our school catches up with the rest of the world concerning learning methods.

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Frustration runs high as Wi-Fi readied for use