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Xirrus Launches "Art-of-Wi-Fi" Schools Competition to Help Students Develop Digital Skills

LONDON -- (Marketwire) -- 11/19/12 -- Xirrus®, the leader in high-performance wireless networking, today announced the launch of its nationwide UK "Art-of-Wi-Fi" Competition. The initiative will help students develop the creative skills they need for today's technology-driven economy, including digital art, animation and coding. Students will be invited to submit their digital designs and enter the competition to win their school £ 10,000.

Entries will be based on visual interpretations of the themes 'How Technology Helps Me Learn' or 'The Future Classroom'. Pupils from UK schools will create art and animations using smartphones, tablets and computers powered by wireless networks. Entries will be uploaded to a competition microsite in an attempt to build Britain's largest virtual children's art exhibition.

Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus, said: "Technology has the power to unleash a new wave of creativity and learning in the school environment. Wireless technology can expand your horizon, whether you're a teacher, a pupil, a business, a school, or anyone that wants to get online and be connected. We hope that by showcasing the best of art and technology combined, we can send a message to the UK, and beyond, that great connections can enable great achievements."

Support from the Education Community
The competition boasts a prestigious panel of judges, including former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Estelle Morris, who is a patron of the e-Learning Foundation. Additional judges include film producer and CoderDojo ambassador Lord David Puttnam and Stephen Heppell, leading online education expert and Professor of New Media Environments, Bournemouth University. Other key supporters of the initiative include Xirrus Platinum Reseller Partner Academia as well as Autodesk and CoderDojo.

"We all know technology is an important part of teaching and education, but the most exciting thing about it is when we see technology working seamlessly with teachers' and pupils' creativity. There are some amazing talents waiting to be discovered through the Art-of-Wi-Fi and I can't wait to see the entries starting to come in," said Estelle Morris.

Stephen adds: "No one really knows how good our children can be, but when we surprise them with great challenges, they astonish us right back with their ingenuity. This is such an exciting competition."

Building skills for digital workplace

"The 'Art-of-Wi-Fi' competition provides a fantastic opportunity to bring important digital skills into the classroom," said CoderDojo ambassador Lord David Puttnam. "The failure to emphasise the importance of programming skills within the core curriculum puts at risk the future job prospects of a whole generation of bright young students, many of whom will find themselves disadvantaged in the competition for the most desirable, and well paid areas of employment."

"Technology plays an important role in our lives and should be incorporated into the education of our children, to develop the skills they will need in today's digital workplace," agrees Matthew Bell, UK Secondary Education Manager at Autodesk, a 3D design company that provides free software to students. "This competition will inspire students to use new technologies at school and outside the classroom," he added.

Getting Involved
Schools can get involved from today by signing up to the Art-of-Wi-Fi microsite www.artofwifi.co.uk and requesting a login for their school. The competition will also be supported by a roadshow starting in December, where Xirrus will visit schools to help students learn about digital art and coding. The winners will be announced at an awards evening to be held at the Saatchi Gallery in London in October 2013, where the winning pieces will be displayed. Xirrus announced a relationship with the Saatchi Gallery earlier in 2012 and is a Corporate Patron of the gallery.

About Xirrus, Inc.
Xirrus is the leading provider of high-performance wireless networks. Our array-based solutions perform under the most demanding circumstances -- always. Wired-like reliability and superior security allow our customers to confidently take their business-critical applications and operations mobile. Our solutions are unique in the industry, transforming enterprises and organizations around the world. At a time when everyone expects to connect wirelessly everywhere and business is increasingly done in the cloud, Xirrus wireless solutions are providing a vital strategic business and IT infrastructure advantage in thousands of deployments worldwide. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, Xirrus is a privately held enterprise designing and manufacturing its products and solutions in the USA. For more information, visit www.xirrus.com.

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