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Phil Tarbox from Xirrus Wireless Products.

Wireless, not powerless: how wifi is changing education

One of the most striking features of the EduTECH conference being held this week is how happy and satisfied all the delegates, speakers and exhibitors have been with the free wireless internet available at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

I have been to conferences all over the word – the International CES in Las Vegas, EuroCucina in Milan, IFA in Berlin, the Electronics Fair in Hong Kong, UA's Higher Education Conference in Canberra, to name but a few – and none come close to the speed, simplicity and range of EduTECH's wifi.

At the close of day one of the conference, before David Thodey's evening keynote, Phil Tarbox for Xirrus Wireless Products hit the podium to share some usage statistics from the show.

The devices being used to access the show wifi are, unsurprisingly, phones (41 per cent), followed by tablets (27 per cent) and notebooks (27 per cent). Only 13 watches and two desktop PCs were connecting. Just under 60 per cent of all devices are from Apple. A lone BlackBerry has made an appearance, much to the mirth of Tarbox and the crowd.

The most popular applications have been web browsing (55 per cent of all downloads), followed by file transfers (13 per cent) and social networking (8 per cent). Breaking that down even further, Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter and YouTube have been the most data-hungry websites.

All these stats were presented to delegates in the form of easily digestible graphs and charts, to clearly demonstrate the way Xirrus can visualise usage data and access statistics for its clients.

To find out more about how wireless in schools is changing education, Phil Tarbox spoke with Education Review from its stand at EduTECH.

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