Imagine what life was like when most kids got their education in a one-room schoolhouse from a single teacher. Class started with the tinkle of a bell that sat on the teacher’s desk, and ABCs were scrawled out on personal chalkboards instead of in spiral notebooks or personal laptops.Today, the average high school in the U.S. has more than 700 students, which can make communication among faculty, administrators, and parents a big challenge. When a school’s phone system is dated, complicated, and slow it can make this tough. Luckily, VoIP systems are available that can have a measurable impact on how your school functions in terms of effective communication.
Whether you are a local administrator or consultant for entire districts, it is time to start thinking about how the phone systems in front offices and classrooms could be doing more. Read on for five ways that VoIP can help your educational organization.
#1. Integrated Bell Tones
The bells that start and end class are an essential piece of most schools, but purchasing or upgrading a system solely for the purpose of providing these sounds can be costly. With the right integration solution, a VoIP system can double as a school bell tone. Phones in every classroom can be programmed to sound a bell at the correct time without purchasing any additional equipment. The bell tone integration alone can be a good enough reason to upgrade to VoIP for some schools.
#2. Streamlined Parental Notification
Now more than ever we understand the important role that parents play in a child’s education, which means that teachers and administrators need to be communicating with them often. From parent/teacher conferences to snow day alerts, a VoIP system with easy dialing and contact management makes it simpler than ever for schools to stay in touch with students and their families. The front office can easily schedule automated calls to remind parents about in-service days or to alert them when their child has missed class.
#3. Improved Teacher Communication
Of course, parents are just one member of the team that make schools work for students. It is also critical that teachers can communicate easily with one another. VoIP phones make it easy for teachers to connect with other classrooms, even if they are on another campus. Facilitating this kind of communication means that teachers can more easily get a holistic view of a student’s progress and therefore come up with plans that will best serve him or her.
#4. Innovative Distance Learning
VoIP integration into the classroom can also provide many unique learning opportunities. For instance, a VoIP system that includes video conferencing abilities can make it possible for classrooms in different areas of the world to converse, which can be a valuable tool for something like foreign language classes. For schools with a rural population, some students may not be able to make it to class every day because of weather or other factors. These students might be able to take advantage of the same conferencing technology to improve attendance and overall learning outcomes.
#5. Cost Effective Communication
Every school faces budget pressures of some kind of another. Taking phones out classrooms can seem like a quick way to save some money, but that can add to the burden placed on already stressed teachers. A VoIP phone solution can use the school’s already existing internet connectivity to provide fast and reliable phone services, which can lead to cost savings over the course of the school year without diminishing communication.
While this post has largely covered the advantages of implementing a VoIP system in a primary or secondary school system, there are also many ways that VoIP can improve performance for higher education campuses. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for future updates about the kinds of VoIP integrations that can be applied to colleges and university systems.
For more information on how VoIP has overhauled a high-achieving school districts communications, take a look at our Case Study: A Comprehensive Voice Communications Refresh for a High-Achievement School District.