High-density capabilities of Meru wireless network ensure success of first mobile launchMeru Networks has announced that Blackburn-based Pleckgate High School is supporting the deployment of 1,200 iPad minis distributed to pupils in the school in one day with a Meru Education-grade (MEG™) wireless solution. The mobile launch – a first for the school – coincided with the first day of the new Autumn term, and was chosen in favour of a phased rollout due to the Meru solution’s proven high-density handling capabilities. “At my previous school, we rolled out iPod touches, but found that the Cisco wireless network was simply unable to cope with a high number of devices connecting at the same time. We switched to Meru with great success,” said Lewis Hall, e-learning manager at Pleckgate High School. “When I moved to Pleckgate, we expanded the existing Meru network, which has been able to cope with everything we threw at it and more. People said we were crazy to deploy 1,200 devices in one day, but, using Meru, it went even better then we imagined.” One of the government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) successes, Pleckgate became one of the first schools to trial a free iPad mini programme last year. Such a large-scale mobile device ‘switch on’ was deemed a worthwhile risk, with Pleckgate having already deployed Meru’s Wi-Fi technology throughout the school and with management’s prior experience with Meru’s ability to support high numbers of users and devices simultaneously. Each member of the Pleckgate staff also has an iPad mini or an iPad2, as well as a MacBook Air, while every classroom and learning space is equipped with Apple TVs, with use enabled by the Meru Bonjour Gateway – all deployed within the space of the last 12 months. The school will eventually move to an all-mobile environment, phasing out desktops PCs and laptops in classrooms to improve student-teacher interaction and accelerate independent learning. Pleckgate makes extensive use of Apple TV units powered by the Apple AirPlay service. Meru’s Bonjour Gateway support, integrated into the Meru MobileFLEX architecture, helps ensure that transmitting devices and the displays connected to Apple TV units are appropriately co-ordinated on a per-classroom basis, to avoid interference and confusion. Meru’s access points and controllers manage the service dynamically. “iPads and mobile devices are not a quick fix, we know that, but are an enabler to delivering better learning and teaching,” said Hall. “I knew from previous experience that this approach could work. At my previous school we doubled our GCSE results within two years of deploying mobile devices and teaching and learning went from 60 per cent ‘inadequate’ to 70 per cent ‘good’ in Ofsted results. A mobile device strategy can be effective, as long as the right infrastructure is in place to support it.” “Pleckgate School took a calculated risk in deploying thousands of mobile devices in a single day, knowing that its wireless network would be able to stand up to the challenge,” added Sarosh Vesuna, vice president and general manager of education at Meru Networks. “Increasingly, schools and other educational establishments need to know that their Wi-Fi can deliver each time every time and cope with the rigorous demands of large numbers of users and devices.” Meru’s Education-grade (MEG) wireless solution is designed to solve educational institutions’ BYOD (Bring your own device) issues and support their learning-essential applications. MEG starts with three simple steps: 1. On-board quickly with BYOD provisioning and secure wireless access mapped to IT policies. 2. Connect all BYOD devices reliably anywhere on campus. 3. Learn by deploying validated learning and teaching applications on BYOD devices over the MEG wireless solution. Pleckgate joins more than 3,000 schools in the UK and Ireland who are currently using MEG solutions. Additional information about the Meru MEG solution is available here: http://bit.ly/15vW5Oh.
Liane Paixão is a Resource Teacher at the TCDSB and part of the 21st Century Learning and Academic ICT Team.Not too long ago, I was contacted by Liane Paixão, a resource teacher at the TCDSB. I’d met Ms. Paixão several years ago at St. John Catholic School where my two children are still attending. Liane, at the time, was their core French teacher and both of kids just loved her and always spoke about her in our home. In an email, Liane conveyed to me the concept of the TCDSB’s 21C project and asked if I’d be interested in helping her produce a song she’d written specifically for the project. With no hesitation, I said “Sure! Let’s do it!
The Recording Process is Always a Learning ProcessDuring the recording process we spent a great deal of time talking about education and Liane explained the whole 21C concept to me with passion. I’d been teaching electronic music production for some time already and ran the concept by her about bringing these lessons into the Toronto Catholic District School Boards. The TCDSB recently approved the addition of iPads into their school curriculum, so it seemed a completely natural step in the right direction to add music lessons to the agenda due to the availability of such software programs as Apple’s “GarageBand”. The wheels started turning and this site is the first result of our combined ideas. I began asking myself, “Is this for real?”. Not only do I enjoy doing what I do, but to to take it one step further, into the school system, would be a secret dream come true. I’ve always enjoyed education and helping people. Teaching music production has been very rewarding. Generally speaking, the students who, I’ve taught have always bee there because they wanted to be there. The results of a lesson are not far off either and the rewards (on both sides – teacher/student) are what it’s all about. There’s no scholarship, no certificate, just the self esteem and confidence that comes with the accomplishment itself. Not to mention, my kids think I’m more awesome than ever now because I worked with their French teacher and had her over to the house to record and hang out awhile. After it’s all said and done though, Liane’s the celebrity around this household! Liane’s a very talented singer/songwriter/musician as well as an awesome educator and adapted very well to the idea of receiving a little guidance herself when it came time to record her song. She constantly reminds me of how I put her through the runners while doing vocal tracks but in the end, I was so impressed by Liane’s ability to listen and apply the direction she was being given as a vocalist on the spot. A rare talent indeed! Check out the final result (below) of Liane’s song “Is This For Real”. It’d be awesome if you purchase the song on iTunes. All proceeds from the sale of this song will be donated to the 21C initiative and be used to further the education of our children. While the budget for education in Ontario remains tight, every little bit of fundraising we can do goes a long way!
Project PitchAdditionally, I am collaborating with Liane and the TCDSB 21st Century Learning team in the implementation of the Project Pitch, a contest which will be announced soon, encouraging kids to make video submissions for the the song. There are prizes to be won by the kids who come up with the best video(s) to represent the song. Learn more about this at PROJECT PITCH Keep your ears open for new productions coming soon by both Liane and myself.
We’re the so called leaders of the future And we’ll be put to the test to come out and solve all the world’s problems After twelve years of confinement to a desk
How do you conquer bias and oppression by memorizing dates and facts? I can mix chemicals in a tube But, poverty? How do I react to that?
There’s more that we can do beyond the classroom walls You got the wisdom and I do believe that I can change it all So, before you give me a task, you send me on a mission (Ask yourselves) Is this for real? Is this for real? Is this for real?
There’s a big shift in the wind’s direction Pushing you to let me go to explore all my dreams and my passions Then, bring me back and challenge me to save the world
Gimme something to work with Gimme something to think of Gimme something I can explore My time is so precious I don’t want all my treasures at the bottom of your drawer
Before you gimme a task, you send me on a mission (Is this real, real, real?) Listen to my voice, you can build on my wonders (Is this real, real, real?) Can you crack the code to set free my ambitions? (Is this real, real, real?) Before you gimme a task, you send me on a mission (Is this real, real, real?)
Additional Information More about Liane PaixãoHoly Shift! Check out EdTechTeacher
B.Y.O.D. in 21st Century language meaning, Bring Your Own Device.With the budget restraints in the public school boards these days, the concept of BYOD is one that most school boards should be thankful for. Three hundred iPads per school, per city, translates to a massive unforeseen budget increase. While it seems like the perfect marriage between school boards and the households, we can’t help but be reminded of the needs of the underprivileged. Not all households can afford to purchase iPads or laptops for their children. Some are on welfare, have low income jobs and are feeling the pressure to “compete” with the Jones’ on many other levels let alone purchasing social devices. Kids will be kids. They see their friends with all these desirable devices and want one too. Who could blame them really? Combine that with most children’s nonchalent attitude regarding their care for their belongings and you’ve now got parents who are hesitant to purchase expensive, but helpful items for their children in the first place, coupled with the reality that they may lose them or break them within a matter of days. Our son loses everything: sweaters, gloves, USB keychains, his lunch bag . . . He has no regard for his belongings no matter how much we impose our suggestions on him as to the proper care of them so, the thought of sending him to school with an iPad or a laptop is very unsettling to us. Whether or not a family can afford to send their children to school with iPad’s and laptops is one thing. The students accountability is yet another. I see this as a good problem to have but one that needs a combined effort from the parent and the teachers (it is after all a collaboration, isn’t it?) to expend more effort on teaching the children about personal accountability in tandem with staying competitive as an academic entry.
” . . . companies may face regulatory obligations, and they’ll certainly have security concerns.”In a classroom consisting of Grade 2 to Grade 8 kids, it’s a pretty smooth marriage. Enter the corporation . . . Consider, for example, data access. Users want easy, immediate access to business information, from a wide variety of devices. But at the same time, companies may face regulatory obligations, and they’ll certainly have security concerns. So businesses will invariably want assurance that their data resides where it is supposed to, and any risk that it may be compromised — say, via a stolen device — can be eliminated. While it’s a huge financial advantage to businesses and schools to have their employees and/or students subsidize their operating costs, we inevitably run into the grey area of “who’s the boss” of these devices (iPads, Cellphones, laptops). When a company demands that they have complete access to your device and insist that corporate passwords be in place before you access personal emails, or Facebook posts, it’s easy to become jaded.
“We can’t rely on secular strategies to solve social inconsistencies.”Do we then teach our children that this is the new “norm”, and they should acknowledge corporate/academic demands or, do we say, “Just wait a second here . . . I’m (collectively) saving you thousands of dollars with this BYOD (savings) strategy, and you want what?” While it’s so convenient on both sides of the spectrum, what’s right? In my opinion, business is business. If you want to compete, belly up to the bar. Provide your employees with the hardware necessary to get the job done. If you’re the employee/student, leave your personal device at home and subscribe to the mandates of your employer. It’s as simple as that. Evolve with the times or get left behind. The employer doesn’t ask you to bring your own desk, chair, computer or telephone to the job. They’re subscribing to your ability to do what THEY need in order to be successful. Why should they request you to BYOD? Convenience is the Mother of disaster in this case. Let’s refocus. With respect to those who cannot afford their own devices, should there be separate rules? i.e.: the school provides those who can’t afford an iPad with an iPad BUT they can’t use that device for any personal data. Seems reasonable, no? NO. This breeds segragration in the classroom and identifies those whom are not in the same class. We need to have hope. Hope that those whom are not as fortunate, someday become more enabled to participate. We can’t rely on secular strategies to solve social inconsistencies. As usual . . . I’d love to hear your opinions. Please login to leave comment…
Watch some iPads being put to creative use in an ‘iPad Orchestra’ performing Beethoven’s 5th with the Salt Lake Pops.
“Now, more than ever, because of an artist’s ability to upload any song they’re written (or sampled) to the Internet, the artist has to be accountable for their content“You may have heard many stories about artists and writers not receiving credit, where credit’s due. Stories about the big mean record company or manager that owns 100% of the publishing rights of a non suspecting, or uneducated artist have been newsworthy for many years now, so I’m constantly surprised these days when I hear about songwriters who’ve no knowledge about what a “copyright” is or how to protect their songs. Granted, there is leniency to be had with the young artists starting out in their new business ventures but . . . not much. The Internet is chock full of information for everyone, not just about copyrights. These days we have fewer and fewer excuses to claim ignorance about anything that’s especially important to us. Sure, there are rumors, here say etc. that leads us astray, or closer to believing that we shouldn’t take them seriously but as artist’s, we all need to be accountable. This is YOUR career. Take it seriously.
When samplers first hit the marketplace in 1976 they offered a plethora of new ideas to recording artists, producers and songwriters alike. More importantly however was the challenge they presented to the publishing world. Any person with a sampler could now “sample” another writers music by digitally recording their song into the sampler and then literally insert that sample into their own song and call it theirs. In theory, this just sounds wrong however by law at that time, it was, well . . . not illegal. Thankfully there are laws in place today that protect writers but it never seems to stop someone from doing it anyway. More confusing is that the samples people generally use (and always get caught using) are from songs that have already been hits so, of course you’re going to get noticed if you use a sample like that! Duh . . .Here’s just a short list of songs that contain other artist’s property. Get Informed About Copyright Law Also see “Resources For Young Songwriters”
When I was a kid in school, the only hope I had for ever becoming involved in the recording end of the music business was to land a job in a recording studio, and the average kid’s chance of that ever happening was about 1 in a million. The only other possible option was to get a huge loan from the bank and build your own however, without the experience necessary to run a recording studio, banks didn’t look to favorably on this option.
Even as technology advanced toward the days of the home studio, companies such as Teac/Tascam began making 4 track open reel recorders but for a young teen, these too provided many financial woes. It wasn’t just the recorder that you needed in order to make recordings. You also needed a mixer, microphones, keyboards, guitars, amplifiers, speakers and the list goes on. The kicker is that, none of this high tech, expensive recording equipment guaranteed you with a “hi-fi” result. The equipment was only as good as the operator.
Assuming that you’d made a decent recording, how were you ever going to get it out there to the masses? There were no YouTube or Facebook sites for you to boldly solicit your awesome recordings. You were at the mercy of record companies, managers, publishers and the like. Once again, as a recording engineer, producer or songwriter, you were in the “dime a dozen” category. Millions were trying to do exactly what you were doing but without the assistance of social media.
There were no schools at that time specializing in Recording Engineering or Music Production. You were pretty much on your own unless you happened to know someone in the “biz”. By the mid 1980’s it became even more complicated. Digital technology was introduced. All of a sudden, and in the matter of a couple of years, analog technology was being weeded out in favor of the new digital technology. Vinyl recordings were being replaced with CD’s and computers were being introduced to the recording studios. If you didn’t embrace them, your days were silently numbered.
More and more recording facilities were using a digital recording system called ProTools. The majority of seasoned professionals scoffed at the idea of using a computer to record “high quality” records with and to this day, there are still many who are hanging onto that the theory that analog recordings are still the way to go. Unfortunately, those professionals are now mostly unemployed.