The wireless classroom: A regional picture

School districts south of Boston have implemented wireless technology in varying degrees, ranging from complete coverage to selected hotspots within the schools. Many have such features as mobile carts that transport wireless devices to classrooms, a bring your own device (BYOD) option, and a 1-to-1 ratio of wireless devices to students.

School districtWi-FiFuture plans
AbingtonMiddle and high schools have full coverage; some classes have laptops, iPads, or netbooks for each student; BYOD encouragedDeveloping 1-to-1 capacity
Blue Hills Regional Full coverage; used for mobile laptops and iPad cartsExpand use
BraintreeTwo elementary schools fully wireless, all other schools wireless in designated areas. BYOD not official, but many students do and are allowed access to school networkExpanded wireless capability and moving away from BYOD to school-owned devices
Raynham Regional
High school has full coverage and other schools have hotspots for administration only; new Wi-Fi system in high school includes employee network; iPad and laptop cartsLooking to implement BYOD in high school and get coverage in middle schools next year, eventually in all of the schools
Bristol-Plymouth VocationalFull coverage; mobile laptop and iPad carts; students can sign devices out from library; access for guests and faculty; Apple TVInvestigating BYOD
BrocktonAll schools have full coverage; used for mobile laptop and tablet carts and personal devices.Expanding number of laptops and tablets
CantonOne elementary school has 85 percent wireless coverage; other schools have spot coverage.Planning for expanded wireless, but nothing finalized
DedhamFull wireless coverage in the high school and one elementary school; remaining schools have some coverage; some 1-to-1 devices at the high schoolDistrict is looking to strengthen wireless and purchase iPads
DuxburySchools have full coverage, used for laptops and iPads; BYOD in high school with permissionExpanding number of laptops and tablets
East BridgewaterCenter School and Middle School have full coverage; used in computer labs; iPads used with special needs studentsNew high school will be fully wireless; expanding to laptop and iPad carts; investigating BYOD
FoxboroughLimited Wi-Fi hotspots in all five schools (none in classrooms); iPads for some administrators and special needs studentsLooking to get high school fully covered next year and build infrastructure to support Wi-Fi
Regional Charter
School is fully covered; used for Web-based applications in various classesNot decided
HanoverAll schools have coverage; every teacher has a laptop; students use on restricted, case-by-case basisNot decided
HinghamTwo of four elementary schools fully wireless; limited wireless in remaining schoolsNew, fully wireless middle school to open in fall 2014; wireless capabilities in the former middle school will be distributed to elementary schools; high school will double wireless capability by fall 2014
MiddleboroughComplete coverage in high school where all teachers have laptops; hotspots in other 4 schoolsMake all schools fully wireless; working toward 1-to-1 system
MiltonTucker Elementary School wireless; numerous 1-to-1pilot programs in placeAll schools will be fully wireless by fall 2013; district will expand 1-to-1 program during 2014-15 school year.
NortonAdministrative areas and mobile carts with individual wirelessNew high school will have full coverage and more laptop carts; administrators will have iPads and teachers will have laptops.
NorwellHigh school and middle school full coverage; 1-to-1 pilot with iPads in middle school; teachers have laptopsPush 1-to-1 through all the grades
NorwoodHigh school and middle school fully wireless; elementary schools and early education center have wireless hot spots.Technology Advisory Committee formed to study expanded wireless.
Old Colony All schools have Wi-Fi hotspots in main office and library; iPads and mini computers availableWill expand to 1-to-1 with laptop for each student
Old Rochester All schools have coverage; teachers have laptops; used for mobile laptop and iPad cartsInvestigating BYOD
PembrokeFull coverage in one of three elementary schools as well as middle and high schools; used for administrator purposesInvestigating BYOD
PlymouthMiddle and high schools have full coverage; all high school teachers have laptops and administrators have iPads; iPad and laptop mobile carts; hotspots at elementary schoolsExpand full coverage to elementary schools and add more mobile carts
QuincyThe two high schools and one of its middle schools are fully wirelessAll schools fully wireless by September; study more tablet use
RandolphAll schools have wireless, but used primarily by staff rather than studentsInvestigating BYOD
RocklandNew combined middle-high school has coverage; few Wi-Fi hotspots in elementary; students use iPads and Kindles in the library; mobile laptops cartsPlan to have complete coverage within next 12 months
SharonUpdated to faster connection districtwide last summer; use mobile laptop carts; piloting iPads for special needs students and in libraryUpdating two elementary schools to faster system; investigating BYOD
South Shore
Full coverage; used for mobile laptop carts and 1-to1 iPad pilot programWill expand 1-to-1 iPad pilot next year
StoughtonAll eight schools fully wirelessExploring ways to provide more 1-to-1 devices.
WalpoleAll eight schools, including the preschool, have wireless access points covering about 80 percent of the buildings.Hopes to be 100 percent wireless by the 2014-15 school year; including more tablets and wireless devices.
WarehamRolling out wireless high-capacity access points; use laptop and iPad cartsBy fall of 2013, all buildings will be 60-70 percent covered; expanding number of iPads; investigating BYOD
West BridgewaterFull coverage in district; teachers have iPads; mobile laptop and iPad carts; unofficial BYODMoving toward 1-to-1 with BYOD and issuing devices
WestwoodAll seven schools fully wireless; there are laptop carts in the schools that depend on wireless; limited BYOD.District plans to purchase 1,000 1-to-1 devices and have devices for every student at the middle and high school
WeymouthHigh school and Abigail Adams Middle School have full coverage; other 10 schools have wireless hotspots; laptops and iPads on mobile carts and in library; some BYODFull coverage of all schools within next six months
Whitman-Hanson All schools have full coverage; mobile netbook carts; students can lease laptops and iPadsNone

SOURCES: School districts; Avon, Carver, Cohasset, Easton, Freetown-Lakeville Regional, Halifax, Holbrook, Hull, Mansfield, Marshfield, Rising Tide Charter, Scituate, Silver Lake Regional, Southeastern Regional Technical Vocational did not respond to survey.