Magazine article Technology & Learning

Graduating to IP

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Graduating to IP

Article excerpt

Challenged to do more with less, schools must find innovative ways to improve communication between parents and staff and enhance school safety and responsiveness. The ultimate goal: to build an infrastructure that supports improved student outcomes. Faced with a myriad of next-generation technology choices, schools are investigating Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to deliver IP Telephony solutions and enhance communication.

Technology & Learning ran an article in November 2004 called "Top 10 Returns On Investment". Number two on the list was high-speed Internet access. The article discusses the ROI benefits of high-speed Internet access:

Bob Moore, executive director of information technology, points out one of them. "A goal was to place a phone in every classroom. Had we stayed with a leased line phone system, it would have cost the district $350,000 more each year for the same level of service we have today with the VoIP system."

Yes, you can save money (some solutions even qualify for E-Rate Priority 2 funding), but a telephone in every classroom is just the beginning.

Parent Outreach

Improving communication between parents and teachers and among teachers and staff is essential to achieving student success.

Implementing an automated attendant can help. An automated attendant provides callers with a decision tree, prompting them to respond to choices like Administration, Principal, or Athletics Department.

Recorded Messages can be changed dynamically to quickly disseminate information to parents and staff, keeping them regularly notified of bulletins or emergencies. Individual staff voice mail boxes offer parents a direct line to teachers without disrupting the learning environment. "Hot desking" makes it possible for teachers to move from class to class while still being able to access personal phone profiles.

Video playback and conferencing enables parents to attend school meetings or teacher conferences virtually when they are unable to be there in person.

Teleworking is advantageous for teachers and administrative staff who need to extend their hours from home. This feature enables teachers to offer support to students who may need help with their homework or assignments. …

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