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UCC in the classroom and on campus

Its impact on learning and student safety

August 26, 2019

It’s that time of year—the kids are going back to school. And chances are they’ll be using some type of UCC technology.
 

K–12 classrooms throughout the country and around the world are embracing unified communications and collaboration (UCC). Here are some of the ways UCC is being used successfully:

  • Personalized and collaborative learning—The trend toward personalized learning is gaining momentum in K–12 education. According to KnowledgeWorks, 39 states now include some aspect of personalized learning in their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans, and the initiative has received considerable funding from philanthropic tech giants like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Personalized learning is based on the long-held principle, corroborated by research, that customizing teaching methods and curriculum to accommodate individual differences is more effective than a “one curriculum fits all” approach. Lessons are tailored to students’ intellectual abilities and personal interests, and students work at their own pace, focusing on subjects of their own choosing. They often work in groups on projects where they share similar interests, facilitated by UCC technology. Just like employees in a corporation, kids use messaging, emailing and web conferencing to share ideas and content—even from home.

    As more school districts adopt a personalized learning model or a blended approach that combines personalized learning with traditional instruction, they’re switching to affordable high-speed networks and feature-rich VoIP phone systems to facilitate better collaboration between teachers, students and parents.

  • Distance learning—Students who need homebound instruction due to illness or other circumstances can benefit from UCC technology. Real-time, high-definition videoconferencing, audioconferencing, streaming or stored lectures and omnichannel capabilities allow remote students to connect to teachers and classmates in real time. Schools can also use UCC technology to establish homework hotlines that allow teachers to provide additional support to students who’ve been absent or who need additional guidance or accommodations after school.

  • Parent and teacher communication—Videoconferencing and audioconferencing technology can facilitate teacher conferences when parents are not available for in-person meetings or consultations.

  • Student safety—A 2018 report by Motorola Solutions that surveyed more than 720 school personnel in 48 states offered some enlightening statistics. It found that two-way radio usage in schools has tripled since 2015. In fact, more schools use two-way radio than cellphones as the preferred means of communicating between schools, contacting school bus drivers, coordinating with staff on school grounds and talking with emergency responders. With an increasing threat of gun violence and other potential threats to student safety, K–12 schools are looking at more advanced UCC solutions to optimize staff coordination and student safety.
If you have K–12 customers who are looking to upgrade their UCC capabilities, feel free to contact Ingram Micro’s UCC expert, Chad Simon, for more insights.