Bridging the education comms gap


EDUCATION institutions need competent communication systems to thrive.

As schools, colleges and universities expand their hybrid learning packages, there has been a 90 percent increase in countries adopting online learning — with 59 percent of students saying they feel more motivated with the system.

Online learning, education communications illustrationBetter engagement is required — 54 percent of all emails from universities go unopened, and 39 percent are ignored. The majority of students report feeling disconnected and unengaged. Gen Z spends up to 10 hours a day on their smartphones, with 78 percent of users considering their mobiles to be the main source of communication. Schools should communicate with them in a similar way for optimal engagement.

The solution is in unified communications (UC).

UC platforms are customisable; they can be cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid solutions. Devices can allow senior education faculty members to remain in contact with their students. Video conferencing tools allow students and teachers to schedule regular one-to-one catch-ups.

UC solutions also provide teachers with a range of tools to enhance their relationships with students. Whiteboarding, annotating, and file-sharing allow for collaborative work and instant reviewing. They also allow a personal and immediate touch.

This seamless switch between remote and in-person meetings avoids potential miscommunications, and there’s scope for a tailored hybrid learning set-up.

Security concerns are high, with many people in attendance under the age of 16. Built-in safety features safeguard staff and student data from viruses, malware, and cyberattacks. Regardless of location, communications and data are secure.

Simon Horton is vice-president of international sales at Sangoma.