Schools are places of education, growth, and security. Student and staff safety is the priority, but increasing incidents of school violence means more schools are taking proactive steps to ensure their safety.
Technology can give students, parents, teachers, and staff greater peace of mind so they can focus on what matters most: educating the next generation. While solutions like alarms, cameras, and notifications are important, VoIP phone systems are a surprisingly robust addition that keeps students safe. In addition to adding a layer of security around schools, VoIP is also low-cost and easy to maintain.
Learn how VoIP works for schools and the steps your school can take to ensure student safety with VoIP.
What Is A VoIP System?
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to send and receive phone calls over an internet connection. A VoIP system will convert sounds (such as a voice) into digitized data that it passes between a sender and receiver over the internet.
Instead of using a traditional copper phone line, you can make a call from any phone (including your personal mobile device) as long as you have an internet connection.
How Can Schools Benefit from Using VoIP?
Unlike traditional school phone systems, VoIP doesn’t require expensive wiring. Depending on the school’s setup, VoIP is usually a plug-and-play solution that’s significantly faster and cheaper to set up.
Since VoIP providers conduct maintenance on behalf of the school, schools don’t have to worry about managing their phone systems internally, either.
VoIP for schools is also beneficial because it’s:
- Unified: With VoIP, schools can bring all of their communications into one place. Phone calls, IMs, SMS, and video chat are all housed in the same system.
- Customized: VoIP makes it possible to hyper-customize to your school’s unique needs. For example, you can use zoning to send messages to specific rooms in your school instead of blaring one generic announcement to the entire student body.
- Encourages resilience: Resilient schools are able to quickly respond in the event of an emergency. VoIP ensures that your school is able to coordinate emergency efforts, send mass warning notifications, and correspond with emergency services without barriers.
- Mobile-friendly: There’s no need to tie staff to a landline phone in the event of an emergency. With VoIP, staff can use their personal cellphones to make calls while they’re on the go. This is not only efficient in an emergency situation, but it’s also helpful for educators who frequently visit different campuses.
- Simple: VoIP doesn’t require cabling or a significant investment in hardware. That makes it much easier to manage as your school grows. If you want to add phone service to a new building on campus, it’s as simple as adding more connections to your subscription.
- Value-laden: VoIP is digital, which means it gives your school the added benefit of features like call recording, monitoring, and reports.
How Can VoIP Increase School Safety and Security?
Schools are operating with limited resources—fortunately, VoIP makes it easier for schools to ensure student safety without breaking the budget. Schools that invest in VoIP are able to use enhanced 911, ensure reliability, and stay flexible.
Time is of the essence when there’s an emergency at school. Traditional phone systems will still allow you to call 911, but they don’t give first responders any information on the caller’s exact location. It means EMS has to wander campus looking for the person in distress, which can waste valuable time.
With VoIP, your school can enjoy enhanced 911 (E911). E911 calls automatically transmit additional data with each call so first responders know which building, floor, or classroom they need to find.
In fact, E911 is such a safety improvement that some schools are able to pay for VoIP upgrades using grant funding.
VoIP works through the internet, so callers are able to move while placing a call to 911. This allows callers to share critical information with emergency responders while they seek shelter.
Even without power, VoIP reliably keeps your staff connected, too. Traditional phone lines won’t work in the event of a power outage or severe storm, but VoIP is much more reliable in the event of an emergency.
Because it’s a digital solution, VoIP is capable of changing as your school changes. It integrates with many of the other technologies that schools use for safety and security, such as emergency notifications and alarms.
VoIP also allows you to customize dial plans as needed. For example, if you need to change a staff member’s extension, you can make that change with just a few clicks in your dashboard.
VoIP also makes it possible for callers to place 911 calls without prefix numbers, which is a requirement of Kari’s Law.
How Can Dice Help?
It’s time to upgrade your school’s communications systems. This isn’t just an upgrade to improve school costs or features, but an essential upgrade for making schools safer. Save money, future-proof your campus, and keep students safe with VoIP solutions.
But we know it isn’t simple to implement a new solution internally. That’s why Dice Communications helps schools navigate VoIP from start to finish. See how Dice can help you set up VoIP while maximizing school safety.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to send and receive phone calls over the internet instead of traditional copper phone cables.
VoIP is cheaper than traditional phone lines, simple to install, and gives schools the ability to stay connected even if the power goes out.
Enhanced 911, or E911, transmits additional data to emergency services, including the building, floor, or room where the call was placed.