Empowering K-12 education: Optimizing internet connectivity with Bigleaf Networks

An increasing number of K-12 schools are adopting education technology (EdTech), digital communications, and online tools for administrative tasks. These efforts to embed cutting-edge technology into their classrooms, and every facet of their curriculum and operations, create an engaging and empowering learning environment that better prepares students for today’s tech-centric world.

A group of six cheerful children, with diverse ethnic backgrounds, are each holding tablets and expressing excitement in a classroom setting.
In the era of digital education, these young learners navigate tablets with ease and excitement, reflecting the seamless integration of technology in their learning journey.

K-12 schools we work with are implementing several technologies and programs, including:

  • One-to-one device policies to support individual learning paths.
  • Cloud-based learning management systems.
  • Administrative tools for student enrollment, grading, and reporting.
  • Integrated live-streaming tools that power student-led production and distribution of daily video announcements.
  • 3D printing labs that help students bring ideas to life.
  • Comprehensive deployment of Google Suite across its educational spectrum.

Embracing this technology not only ensures a rich and interactive educational experience for the students but also streamlines staff processes, enabling them to remain focused on student learning.

Challenge: Ensuring reliable internet connectivity

The transition to a digital-first educational approach, underscored by cloud-based applications and a one-to-one device policy, can be hindered by an outdated network infrastructure and unreliable internet performance. Antiquated in-house servers, older wiring throughout buildings, decade-old switches and access points, high internet costs and bandwidth fluctuations easily threaten the seamless delivery of educational content, necessitating foundational and technology updates that can ensure consistent, high-quality internet performance across the institution.

Teacher using an interactive digital whiteboard to explain a lesson in a modern classroom filled with diverse students attentively watching.

Bigleaf Networks: Optimizing internet connectivity for K-12 schools

Curtis Roth, from The Rockland Group, works with many schools going through these kinds of digital transformations. He works to understand their objectives and then creates thoughtful solutions to meet them. For schools that rely heavily on internet-based tools, he recommends Bigleaf as a network optimization solution. Roth explains how Bigleaf allows the bonding of multiple internet circuits to alternate and share bandwidth which enables consistently smooth internet performance and helps to mitigate outages and downtime.

Once deployed, schools can use the Bigleaf Web Dashboard to understand their circuit and traffic performance across their WAN in real time to efficiently troubleshoot and resolve issues. Many also learn with the Web Dashboard that they are overpaying for their internet.

For example, Roth was working with a school that was re-evaluating their fiber internet service because the COVID relief funding that helped them get it in the first place was running out. Without that subsidy, the fiber line would be cost-prohibitive.

With Bigleaf in place and Roth’s guidance, the school saw they weren’t even close to utilizing their full 1 GB of bandwidth, even with all their digital initiatives. This insight resulted in the school transitioning to two 500 MB lines instead, which not only allowed for network redundancy to minimize downtime, but also reduced their monthly internet bill by $1000 a month!

Additionally, the school was able to leverage an e-Rate program to facilitate the purchase of Bigleaf’s services, which broaden their accessibility to these internet solutions.

Three high school students engaged in a STEM project, using laptops and electronic circuit boards in a lab setting.

Benefits of Bigleaf for K-12 schools: 

  • Operational continuity: uninterrupted internet service, a cornerstone for a school’s reliance on digital educational tools and cloud-based applications, is supported.
  • Optimized performance: With Bigleaf, schools experience real-time adjustments to internet traffic, optimized performance, and the minimization of bandwidth inconsistencies.
  • Cost savings: Facilitated by Bigleaf’s efficient use of multiple internet providers, which can maximize the value of their connectivity investments, schools can save valuable budget dollars by switching from fiber to a combination of less expensive connections.
  • Empowered education: Teachers and students benefit from an enhanced digital learning environment, less encumbered by disruptions of internet downtime.

Bigleaf Networks: Powering the future of K-12 education

For K-12 schools across the U.S., Bigleaf Networks can become more than a service provider, it can be a partner in their mission to provide a seamless educational experience. By delivering a reliable, optimized internet experience, Bigleaf helps schools transcend traditional connectivity challenges, embodying the promise of technology-enhanced learning. With Bigleaf, schools can confidently step into the future, knowing their internet connectivity is in expert hands.

Take control of your school’s digital transformation journey today! 

Schedule a demo and discover how Bigleaf can be a trusted partner supporting your mission of providing exceptional, technology-driven education to every student.

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