By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PAWTUCKET – Envision Technology Advisors was named a “qualified vendor” for the R.I. Department of Education’s Wireless Classroom Initiative, which will provide $20 million to expand wireless access to classrooms across the state within the next two years.
To receive this status, Envision has to demonstrate its ability to conduct site reviews and surveys for the state’s school buildings, purchase the necessary equipment and provide installation services and support.
Envision Technology Advisors has been qualified to install and support products from Cisco, Aruba Networks, HP, Juniper and Extreme Networks. They are also the initiative’s only named vendor approved for Dell, SonicWall, Netgear and Buffalo Networks infrastructure, according to a release.
“Envision has a long history of working with educational institutions and we know how important access to the right technology is for students of all ages,” Todd Knapp , Envision’s founder and CEO, said in prepared remarks.
“As a Rhode Island company, we are proud to be included in an initiative that will make such a significant impact on the quality of education, and access to technology, provided in our schools,” he added.
A recent survey of Rhode Island classrooms’ access to technology found that only 23.8 percent of those classrooms have 100 percent wireless access, according to Envision.
“While most classrooms did have access to the Internet, that access was typically limited to just the teacher’s computer and students’ access to computers through labs or other devices covered only 7 percent of classrooms,” said Envision, adding that the Wireless Classroom Initiative will “significantly increase connectivity and access for public school systems and state-operated character schools.”
“We are all very excited to be involved with this initiative,” Envision Chief Operating Officer Michael Ando said in a statement. “Many of the employees here at Envision have children in the RI Public school system and the thought of being able to strengthen our children's educational path through technology is something that is important to all of us.”