In the wake of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, K-12 schools, colleges, and other academic institutions experienced a dramatic shift. And yet, even with a nationwide pivot to communicating via virtual platforms, learning continued and evolved.
Distance learning through cloud-based technologies became the cornerstone of the educational system during the pandemic, but the groundwork was laid even before that. The landscape was changing, and hybrid or remote environments became more common for businesses and schools.
VoIP has revolutionized scholastic communication through reliable connections, regardless of circumstances. A “game changer” within education, VoIP offers myriad benefits, such as streamlined communications, added collaboration, and cost savings—not to mention picking and choosing the features you want and need for a comprehensive solution.
How Is VoIP Technology Utilized Within Schools?
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, functions differently from traditional landlines. Instead of relying on physical phone lines, VoIP uses the Internet to make and receive calls. It achieves this by converting voice signals into digital data packets and transmitting them over the Internet. These calls can be managed through an Internet connection, a traditional telephone service provider, or a combination of both. Once these data packets reach their destination, they are converted back into voice signals.
VoIP supports not only voice calls but also video conferences and messaging. This is all made possible through a system called a Private Branch eXchange (PBX), which manages the routing of calls between a school and the telephone network.
Over the years, VoIP has gained prominence due to its flexibility, cost savings, and user-friendly features. This technology facilitates effortless communication for teachers, administrators, students, and parents thanks to its versatile platform. It’s also known for accessibility through PCs, smartphones, tablets, and even traditional landline phones with compatible adapters.
The following is a quick overview of the best features and benefits of VoIP phone systems within schools.
1. Voice Calls & Video Conferencing
Through the power of VoIP, schools will no longer have to deal with separate phone lines for each classroom. With the ability to place calls over the Internet, this easily connects teachers with parents, administrators and other colleagues. This cost-effective method also removes additional expenses for long-distance charges and other fees. With our comprehensive pricing plan, we’ll work with you to ensure you won’t break the bank when shifting your phone system to a VoIP solution.
Another technology that’s increased dramatically over the last few years—especially with the advent of distance learning—is video conferencing. With busy schedules and time crunches, many schools are now conducting virtual meetings. This also applies to online training and continuing education, as well as those who are still opting for remote or hybrid learning. Video conferencing also helps keep parents abreast of important information and announcements, through live and recorded video conversations.
2. Call Routing & Forwarding
With VoIP systems, the days of being transferred multiple times before reaching the right person are gone. With VoIP systems, call routing and forwarding features ensure every call reaches the correct person or department. Not only does this provide streamlined communication, it also prevents dropped calls and ensures appropriately timed callbacks.
3. Enhanced (E911) Services
Reliable 911 services provide schools with an added protection layer based on real-time location mapping. This important feature helps emergency personnel and first responders seek out those in distress, while accurately associating each individual phone number with a specific on-campus building and room. This is especially helpful during time-critical moments with multiple buildings spread throughout several locations.
4. Auto Attendant Services
Whether your front desk attendant needs a break or your call volumes increase, an auto attendant or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can effectively direct callers using helpful prompts. This also provides streamlined communication should your budget not permit front-desk personnel.
5. Easy Integration With Other Platforms & Systems
Similar to a regular business organization, today’s school districts utilize additional communication platforms, such as student information systems (SIS), learning management systems (LMS), and others. VoIP can easily integrate with these platforms, boosting communication and productivity. SIS integration can easily convey automated attendance calls or emergency notifications to parents ensuring student safety and efficient communication.
At CCi Voice, additional licenses are included in your communication system—no extra purchase is necessary!
Choosing the Best Phone System for Your School
Implementing VoIP technology can enhance connectivity and foster a more collaborative learning environment in schools. This not only benefits teachers but also promotes regular, effective communication between educators, students, and parents.
No matter how your school chooses to advance, CCi Voice is here to provide guidance on best practices and help you determine the VoIP features that best suit your institution's needs.
CCi Voice is ready to walk you through everything we offer for schools! Consult our pricing page to see how cost-effective we are, and all the features we include—at no extra charge—when compared to the competition!