How SIP Trunking Streamlines the Virtual Classroom Experience for Teachers and Administrators
The virtual classroom represents just one of the countless changes that society has made to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic while still maintaining some pace of regular life. To help nurture young minds while prioritizing student safety, many school systems have gone fully or partially remote.
Instead of students sitting at a desk, they are now logging onto digital learning portals where their teachers are conducting lessons, leading classroom discussions, and handing out work assignments.
Like any new shift in the way large groups of people operate, the virtual classroom brings its own challenges. From maintaining student engagement to overcoming unforeseen technical obstacles and navigating an entirely new approach to teaching, schools need to think beyond traditional solutions and embrace innovations that are emerging as a result of an unprecedented and unpredictable 2020.
To help relieve the chaos surrounding unifying their digital communications, many schools are implementing SIP trunking solutions nationwide. Rather than relying on traditional telecom networks or a hodgepodge of various software solutions, administrators have found that SIP trunking can streamline communication, make a positive impact on the bottom line, and create a better classroom experience for staff and students alike.
How does SIP trunking do this? Instead of relying on the traditional telecom infrastructure, which is costly and requires you to be in a specific place to use it, SIP trunks extend voice services to a dedicated virtual network that delivers superior endpoint-to-endpoint communication quality.
SIP trunking digitizes the school system’s unified communications and helps streamline the virtual classroom experience as a result. Now, students can enjoy smoother and clearer classroom discussion while staff can benefit from accessing and using the school phone network from anywhere in the world. You should not have to be in a specific location just to use a particular phone network in 2020.
Let’s dive deeper into how SIP trunking can streamline your virtual classroom experience.
Common Virtual Classroom Administration Challenges
Like anything else being deemed part of a “new normal” during an unprecedented pandemic, adapting to the virtual classroom full-time or part-time may include a learning curve. Combine that with many new solutions being rapidly developed to meet specific school needs without offering a unified experience.
Physical classrooms being fully or partially closed does not mean that students need to receive subpar education. By unifying communications between teachers and administrators across all departments, staff can collaborate to deliver the best experience possible in the given circumstances.
The majority of communication challenges that schools face in a remote environment are rooted in a lack of personalization. If bookkeeping, accounting, other administrative services, and teaching can all be done online, why must a staff member come to the office to manage the phones? Instead, would it not benefit the school system to extend their voice services to a dedicated network that can untether a number from a specific device and make it usable from anywhere?
Here are a few examples of communication-related challenges that schools face when adapting to virtual classrooms:
Traditional Telecom’s Impact on the Budget
Traditional phone service costs can add up quickly. For example, many providers require customers to buy prepackaged, pre-priced amounts of PRI lines. In this case, if the provider sells packages of 21 lines and you need 22, then you would have to buy two packages and pay for 42 lines.
This type of pricing model is unfair to parents, taxpayers, and the schools they pay for. At SIP.US, we offer a flexible, low-cost, and scalable pricing model that allows you to only pay for what you need. This way, you can add or subtract digital lines at your convenience and not have to pay for services you do not need.
Furthermore, SIP trunking does not hold you to big, expensive contracts. You simply pay for as much of the service as you want, for however long you need it.
Voice Service Scalability
As we previously mentioned, traditional telecommunication solutions can put a strain on the budget and making scaling communications capabilities a logistical nightmare. Buying new lines, adding new physical phones to the network, and paying hefty telecom bills are not conducive to a well-balanced budget. In the age of personalization, you should only pay for what you need.
That is where SIP.US comes in. Again, you only pay for what your school is using and there are no caps or minimums on how many digital lines you can implement at any given time.
Reliance on Outdated Technology
If your school can teach hundreds of students in a virtual classroom, shouldn’t you also be able to place calls to your network without being in a physical location to use a specific phone?
SIP allows you to provision separate phone numbers for individual employees and specific rooms. This allows you to move a number from room-to-room so that teachers can be reached wherever they are working. This truly unshackles a phone number from a physical device.
Schools that adopt a virtual classroom setting are placing an even greater strain on their IT infrastructure. Network administration costs are never cheap and outages can interrupt an entire school system’s operations.
To replace the traditional conference room, many administrative school meetings are now being held using Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions that allow individuals to join via video. Most of these VoIP products transmit your messages using what are called “packets” – compressed visual and audio data that travels along the network to the receiving endpoints.
If a network disturbance interferes with packets’ ability to travel through the network, this can result in “packet loss.” Have you ever attended a video call where someone’s video message was lagging, disjointed, or parts of it never reached the other participants? That would be packet loss.
Instead of placing more burden on your infrastructure and creating an environment prone to packet loss, SIP.US trunks extend your communications to our elite Tier-1 redundant network. This creates a direct, secure connection between your endpoints and allows for voice clarity as good or better than traditional landline service.
Many SIP providers require schools to source their bandwidth supply from them. This is often because their trunks are designed to work with specific connectors.
As we’ve mentioned, this is the era of personalization. That’s why at SIP.US, our SIP trunks are all BYOB (bring your own bandwidth). With our trunks, you can connect using cable, DSL, T-1, or metro ethernet. The choice is yours.
SIP.US also offers adaptive solutions for extending your legacy phone network into our own. If you want to keep your traditional systems, you still can!
Many SIP trunking providers forget that they are providing solutions to teachers and school administrators, not engineers. Without an intuitive control interface, the solution fails to benefit its intended users.
We believe you can have both powerful performance and a user-friendly interface. You do not need to have advanced technical knowledge of SIP trunking or digital voice services to use it. It allows you to review call data records, track communications habits, and make changes at a moment’s notice. However, if you ever do need help, we are still available to assist you!
SIP Trunking Can Prevent Communication Headaches
The greatest benefit that SIP trunking offers to school systems, however, is the power to communicate more effectively across any virtual or physical classroom. By streamlining your voice communications, your team can use their work phone number from the comfort of home. All they need is an internet connection, and it becomes like they never switched to a virtual classroom from an administrative perspective.
The End Result: A Better Experience for Students and Parents
The virtual classroom revolution has brought its own challenges for students and parents as well. In many cases, a teacher’s aide may be replaced at home by a mother or father helping to co-educate their children.
When teachers and administrators can better communicate with one another, they can form better policies, lesson plans, and processes to ensure minimal friction in a remote learning environment for all parties involved. School staff operating from home do not have to feel like they are working in a silo and those returning to classrooms can always connect with their colleagues from anywhere on campus.
This personalized experience brings the staff community together to provide both a better environment and experience for the young minds they are working with. Should a parent or student need to reach a teacher by phone, the teacher can also provide them with their SIP-enabled phone number so that all professional communications do not enter into one’s private life.
Integrate SIP Trunking to Your Virtual Classroom Operations Today
With over a decade of experience in hosting virtual and dedicated communications systems, the SIP.US team has pioneered many solutions for streamlining the way your team connects and collaborates. To learn about specific solutions that could benefit your school, either in a virtual classroom or physical building, contact us anytime.