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OSHEAN & Rhode Island Schools - Stronger Together
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Harnessing the Power of OSHEAN in RI’s Schools

A recent Providence Journal article focused on the advancements Rhode Island’s public schools have made in adapting to new technologies in the classroom. Specifically, the article highlighted the deployments of thousands of Chromebooks and MacBook Air laptops that signaled an important migration to teaching students in ways they are most comfortable learning.

The article (available here) also highlights how new solutions dramatically improve the learning experience for students and teachers alike: “The technology allows teachers, who have taught behind closed doors, to collaborate anytime and anywhere. They can share lesson plans, videos, even information about how a student is doing in their classes.” Collaboration is key, and it is a central asset of the resources the OSHEAN Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) offering brings to bear via the Beacon 2.0 network.

When OSHEAN’s K-12 members utilize the virtual private cloud for their teaching needs, they achieve new levels of flexibility that enables them to take tools like MacBooks and Chromebooks to new levels of productivity. OSHEAN can provision members’ desktop and laptop devices so users can securely access resources like software licenses and other resources via the cloud, reducing the number of licenses that would be needed in a traditional computer lab. Users can “check out” licenses for popular programs like Microsoft Publisher and Autocad instead of assigning a license to every desktop, which also reduces the number of licenses a school needs to purchase. Other subscription-based services like EBSCOhost and LexisNexis remain accessible at all times, from any location, instead of being accessible solely from the school computer lab.

Other benefits include secure, seamless remote access, making it possible for students to learn when homebound and for teachers to continue the education process throughout the summer months and other school breaks. No matter where content is accessed, students and faculty are kept safe thanks to OSHEAN’s ability to roll out security patches and critical antivirus updates via the virtual private cloud. User safety also extends to filtering policies that guard against access to forbidden websites using school devices – if a site is forbidden in the classroom, those same policies are enacted when a user logs on from home or a library. And since OSHEAN’s virtual private cloud is web-based, no installation of additional agents or software is required to access shared files and other content, unlike a traditional virtual private network (VPN).

Combining OSHEAN’s state-of-the-art fiber network with a world-class cloud infrastructure creates a truly unique virtual private cloud offering that enables members to maintain the performance, compatibility and security of their private network. This includes a connection to the OSHEAN virtual private cloud which is "On-Net," located at an SSA-16 certified state-of-the-art Data Center in Andover, MA. Currently, OSHEAN’s Beacon 2.0 state-of-the-art optical transport network consists of 450+ miles of fiber optics. It has connected over 125 CAI facilities including 39 school districts, 16 library facilities, many state institutions including URI, RIC and the State Data Center, and the state’s three largest hospital consortia.

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