[teknoids] Restricting of wireless access in classrooms

Stephen Winckelman stevew at umn.edu
Wed Dec 2 14:59:17 EST 2009


We tried an experiment where instructors could power off the access points
in one large classroom.  This was not really successful as students in some
spots of the room could still pickup connections from adjacent classrooms.
As we add more access points to each classroom we turn down their radio
signals to keep the connections more or less confined to within each room.
This might eventually enable this low-tech, power-off technique to be
successful, but for now we've given up on it.  (We also have a citywide
802.11 wireless network that enters some classrooms through the windows.)

A another approach we considered would be to stop the connection at the
wireless network firewall based on class rosters and schedules, but I was
concerned that a student missing class and needing to use the network might
be inappropriately blocked.  So without finer resolution in the firewall (ie
by classroom instead of by network) we couldn't correctly implement this
option.

Honestly I think the bigger issue is the growing number of cellular devices
(kindles, smartphones, mobile hot-spots, etc) that ultimately undermine any
802.11 technological  solutions.  As a recent graduate student (management
program not jd) I would often set up a wireless hot-spot for my study group
to bypass any local infrastructure.

Steve Winckelman
University of Minnesota Law School



On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 1:10 PM, Sydney Beckman <sydbeckman at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not making this up - there is a company producing paint designed to do
> that very thing.  I have no knowledge as to whether or not it is a
> successful product.
>
> Syd Beckman
> Duncan School of Law
>
> On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Urrea, Nick <urrean at uchastings.edu> wrote:
>
>>  I know the Teknoids Community has talked about the concept of
>> restricting wireless in the classrooms many times in the past.
>>
>> I’m compiling research to give to our Faculty Technology Committee.
>>
>> My question is has anybody successfully implemented a solution that
>> restricts access to wireless internet in classrooms?
>>
>> Also if you have tried and were not successful in restricting wireless
>> access in classrooms let me know. Why didn’t the solution work.
>>
>> No opinions please about how students can just go buy a mobile broadband
>> card from a cellular carrier, or installing microwaves in the classrooms, or
>> that teaching techniques should improve.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ----
>>
>> *Nicholas Urrea*
>>
>> *Information Technology *
>>
>> UC Hastings College of the Law
>>
>> urrean at uchastings.edu
>>
>> x4718
>>
>>
>>
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>
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