K-12 Districts Embrace Wireless LANs, Choose Aruba Networks For Their Deployments

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN), today announced several new K-12 deployments that illustrate both the increasing, innovative use of wireless technology in school districts, as well as Aruba’s growing presence in this market.

Waverly Shell Rock School District in Waverly, Iowa, Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas and Northwest Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas, represent just a few of the 1,000+ K-12 districts that deployed Aruba wireless LANs in 2012 as the foundation for new technology initiatives and to accommodate the growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. With their solid wireless networks in place, these districts are quickly and cost-effectively addressing the explosion of mobile devices being used on their campuses while providing reliable, secure access to educational applications and resources.

Northwest Independent School District, serving more than 17,000 students in Fort Worth, Texas, exemplifies the trend towards K-12s taking the lead in supporting mobile devices, both district-issued and personal, that enhance the learning experience for students in the classroom and allow teachers and staff to achieve more flexibility and efficiency in their daily activities. Northwest ISD deployed an Aruba wireless LAN across its 25 campuses and in its district office to connect more than 10,000 district-issued mobile devices including Dell laptops and Apple iPads, as well as 3,000 student- and staff-owned devices ranging from smartphones to Kindles to personal laptops.

“Our ultimate goal is to help kids learn and we are proving repeatedly that students and teachers are using technology to improve learning,” said Carl Shawn, director of technology for Northwest Independent School District. “A key part of building this learning environment is allowing a wide range of mobile devices to connect to our network and access applications ranging from digital textbooks to academic assessment resources. Aruba made it easy for us to do this and ensure a good experience for our users, no matter what devices they are using.”

Eanes School District in Austin, Texas, is another K-12 that has seen the benefits of using mobile devices to deliver a rich learning experience to students. The district has expanded its 1:1 iPad initiative to all students at its high school, as well as selected grade levels in middle and elementary schools.

“We had a few small pilots with the iPads first, but quickly came to the consensus that these devices could really revolutionize our learning environment,” said Kevin Schwartz, director of technology services, Eanes School District. “The most important thing that the tablets do for a student is to give them a one-to-one interaction in which they can access a wealth of educational applications and engage in project-based learning. We’ve been able to move forward with this initiative, in large part, because of our Aruba wireless LAN – both its reliability in providing access for these devices and because of its unique ability to handle Apple devices. Aruba wireless has also enabled us to decrease our investment in wired equipment so we could direct those funds to getting iPads in our students’ hands.”

Waverly Shell Rock, a K-12 district in suburban Iowa, has also seen tremendous benefits from its 1:1 iPad initiative, which has put iPads in the hands of nearly 1,600 students to date. Bridgette Wagoner, director of educational services for Waverly Shell Rock, says that while teachers in their district had already begun to move away from traditional textbooks, the combination of their Aruba wireless LAN and the iPad initiative allowed the district to make a significant transition to digital learning.

“The technology we’ve deployed has really had a transformational effect on our teachers and students,” Wagoner said. “Many of our teachers have moved from simply digitizing what they’ve always done in the classroom to exploring new ways of teaching that are more collaborative and interactive. And for our students, with an iPad for everyone, we’ve really leveled the playing field so that everyone has an equal opportunity for the same advanced learning experience.”

Wagoner also noted that the iPad initiative has helped erase the disparity between the technology students and teachers use at home and what they use in the learning environment. In the CDW-G 2011 21 st -Century Classroom Report, CDW-G reported that 94 percent of high school students already use technology to study or work on homework assignments and the same high percentage believe that technology skills will improve both their educational and career opportunities. School districts like Waverly Shell Rock are recognizing the value of ensuring that these tech-savvy students have access to the same tools in the classroom that they do at home.

“K-12 districts understand the significant impact that mobile devices and instant access to learning resources and applications can have on their teachers, classrooms and most of all, students,” said Gerard Festa, director of vertical solutions, Aruba Networks. “Because of this, the wireless network has become mission critical and districts are increasingly turning to Aruba. We’re excited about the tremendous opportunities we are seeing and about our work to help K-12 districts achieve their goals.”

About Aruba Networks, Inc.

Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.

Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.

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