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4 Problems Cisco Meraki Solves For K-12 Hybrid Learning

December 30, 2021

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Read Time: 4:51mins

Schools today have had to adapt to new learning models, such as the hybrid learning model. Why? 

Well, to keep up with new Covid-19 mandates and maintain learning continuity.

Technology solutions have been at the forefront of assisting schools, teachers, administrators, and parents alike to ensure that students learn from home. Cisco Meraki has proven to be an efficient networking and security solution so that learning can be effective. 

Here at LDI, we work with the school to first analyze the current heat map of their facility. From that point, we then make recommendations based on student enrollment projects over the expected life of five to seven years to provide streamlined solutions that can make for streamlined wireless and wired infrastructure. 

This article will define what Cisco Meraki is and help K-12 schools. We will then dive into Cisco Meraki Solves's three significant problems for K-12 hybrid learning. By the end of this article, you will better understand how beneficial Cisco Meraki is for education purposes.

 

What Is Cisco Meraki?

Cisco Meraki is cloud-controlled security and network hardware product line. What does this mean?

Well, by cloud-controlled security and network hardware, we mean a product line that can be controlled, accessed and hosted in the cloud.

More specifically, Cisco Meraki offers security cameras, switches, security appliances, as well as wireless access points. It even provides complete control via any web-based interface. 

Cisco Meraki can support institutions in connecting with faculty, staff, and students in a secure and streamlined way.

 

What Are 4 Problems That Cisco Meraki Solves For K-12 Hybrid Learning?

Now you may be asking, "but how exactly does Cisco Meraki support hybrid learning and solve common issues that come with the hybrid school model?" 

We've got you covered! 

Let's explore the four problems Cisco Meraki solves.

1. Ensuring Students are Engaged In The Learning Process

Let's cut to the chase. Hybrid learning isn't always easy for teachers, students, and parents.

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A critical problem that the hybrid learning model creates is how unengaged students become when sitting on the opposite side of a screen. 

Suppose a student is disinterested in a subject or unable to pay attention after lunch. 

It can be tough to find a way to ensure that a student is engaged in a lesson when you're not in the room with them.

The Cisco Meraki Manager application allows teachers and administrators to control their students' devices. 

For example, the teacher in charge can lock out any distractions while the lesson is in process. Having the ability to lock out distractions on the screen both on-premises and remotely can be a massive help in ensuring that students can't stray away from the lesson at hand.

Within this software, teachers can load learning apps to student devices remotely. So suppose a student refrains from loading an assignment or learning application up on their device. 

In that case, the teacher can control the students' screen via the authorized access and control within the application.

In short, this application is the next level of mobile device management.

Teachers' ability to control the devices their students are using is an impressive way of ensuring that students are staying on top of learning initiatives.

2. Securing A School's Network 

Within the single-pane of glass dashboard, Cisco Meraki offers users access to security and SD-WAN appliances.

4_Problems_Cisco_Meraki_Solves_For_K-12_Hybrid_Learning-03You can think of this as enhanced protection of entry to your network, acting as the first line of defense from both external malicious cyber attackers to internal threats.

There is a lot of confidential information about the families, teachers, and administrators associated with any school network. Therefore, ensuring a robust application-level security guard preventing security threats can be hugely beneficial. 

No school or district wants to have information stolen or breached to be used as ransom. One of the worst things that can happen to any school district is a violation of personal student information called FERPA. (Family educational rights and privacy act).

Cisco Meraki's security and SD-Wan appliances support 1,000s of VPN connections and simple site-to-site networking across school districts.

3. Enforces Physical Distancing

While teachers may like to convey that they have eyes on both sides of their heads to mitigate or catch bad student behavior, it's impossible to keep an eye on a student's every move.

4_Problems_Cisco_Meraki_Solves_For_K-12_Hybrid_Learning-04Cisco Meraki can help safely bring students in and out of a classroom.

Meraki Smart Cameras and Wi-Fi Access Points can help staff and faculty maintain safe physical distancing by providing access to video from any device. 

This means a teacher can monitor her students from any desktop or mobile device. These devices can easily display where students congregate and where pinch points may be.

4. Protects School Building & Grounds From Physical Security Risks

Cisco Meraki utilizes the same single pane of glass view for security cameras as the rest of their network infrastructure, including network switches, security cameras, and wireless access points.

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This makes it easy to keep an eye on the building when the school is filled with students and faculty and even when it is not.

Through the same software, you can access security camera footage in real-time. This provides both a school's IT staff and security team a LIVE view of what's being recorded when active and if it's been tampered with.

How?

Well, seeing as the wire lines are connected to the network infrastructure, precise details indicate whether a device isn't working as well as it could.

    • Green details that a security device is alive and well. 
    • Yellow indicates that a particular machine has an issue but is still connected to the network.
    • Red indicates that a device is malfunctioning or disconnected.

Cisco Meraki security camera solutions video feeds are encrypted and can be sent to the local police department if the footage captured will help catch a perpetrator on the school grounds or will be needed for legal inquiry.

Meraki cameras offer the ability to blur facial images for people watching while maintaining the actual image of the face for security purposes and protection of student identity.

 

Are You Ready To Deploy Cisco Meraki In Your School?

It can be hard to tell how long hybrid learning will last in this ever-changing environment.

That's why it's essential to explore all options and be open to technology solutions that can enhance security and optimize learning efforts.

Suppose your school doesn't currently abide by a hybrid or remote learning model. In that case, deploying Cisco Meraki software and hardware solutions may not be the right fit for your needs at the moment.

However, suppose your school is still abiding by a hybrid learning model and could use a cloud-controlled way of ensuring that students engage in lessons. In that case, implementing Cisco Meraki as a solution may be the right fit for you. 

LDI works with the school's IT departments to ensure that selecting a given Cisco Meraki device aligns with their needs and capabilities. Once the hardware is onsite, LDI can continue to support the school's IT staff with installation and configuration.

If you are interested in diving deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of Cisco Meraki, check out our blog article, check out our article below:

Cisco Meraki Platform Review For 2021 (Advantages and Disadvantages)

 



Angela Cook
Angela Cook

As a Content Manager at LDI, Angela Cook works closely with Subject Matter Experts to craft content that widely focuses on how technology can provide key advantages to various businesses.

Topics: Managed IT, Pro AV, Cloud Services, Cisco Meraki, Network Security & Cybersecurity, Security Solutions, Surveillance Cameras, Education

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