Each generation has its own memory of being called down to the school office. Some experienced a knock at the door by the school secretary. Others remember the request broadcast over a PA system or announced by the teacher after a call on the classroom telephone. It's a familiar scene. The request was typically followed by taunting oohs and ahhs from the rest of the class and a sinking feeling of uncertainty as you wondered what awaited at the office.
Whether it was a secretary, PA system, phone call or another method, pulling a student from class involves some form of interruption. And this student is not the only one being interrupted; the entire class is, and the teacher must regain focus.
Minimizing Classroom Disruptions with Updated Phone Systems
In the example above, what would you say is the least disruptive way to pull a student from the classroom? I'm going with the phone call. You see, as technology evolves, school communication tends to become less and less disruptive to the learning process. Modern technologies have shifted what a phone system includes, and today's phone systems are more sophisticated and less disruptive than they've ever been.
For instance, Mitel’s Unified Communications (UC) has many features currently benefiting school districts nationwide. With Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC), teachers receive administrative requests via instant message instead of a call or PA system broadcast. This minimizes interruption while providing more discretion.
Another disruption teachers and school personnel face is filtering through voicemails, faxes and emails. With Unified Messaging, all three are organized and managed to your specifications using an automated attendant. Current technology allows space for adjustments and customizations based upon the needs of individual schools or districts.
One such customization is automating their process for finding substitute teachers. When a substitute is needed, administration can tap into a database and make automated calls to possible substitutes - lists are customized to allow for different specialties or abilities. Potential substitutes will hear the recorded request and be prompted to respond with keypad numbers. Conveniently, once one person indicates they can fill in, all subsequent calls are cancelled and the process ends. This way, a substitute can be found without taking up administrative resources.
Implementing a New Phone System with Minimal Interruptions
Phone system updates are performed with minimal interruption to the school district, usually over the course of the summer. We traditionally implement a new phone system with a set schedule per building, with a larger district installation spread over a two-month time period. Smaller districts, with 1-3 locations, experience even faster results. It’s important to select a provider capable of meeting your needs, no matter the size of your district.
In addition to timing, budget allowances can be a concern. Sourcewell works with government, education and non-profit agencies in need of assistance with purchasing solutions while also satisfying bid requirements. With Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contracts, updating classroom technologies is much more accessible to those with minimal resources. If you’d like to learn how an updated phone system can benefit your school district, speak with one of our Mitel Phone System Specialists.