Educational institutions are operating very differently since the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though life is returning to normal, communication technologies and student expectations have changed dramatically.
Many K-12 schools and higher education institutions implemented cloud-based communication platforms during the lockdown. But they quickly discovered that these technologies also help them solve many ongoing challenges and deliver various long-term benefits as we head back to school.
Challenge #1: Mobility and flexibility
Outdated on-premises phone systems and desk phones are time-consuming and labor-intensive to maintain. Many of them are also falling out of support. They prevent faculty and staff from maximizing their productivity and don't have the capabilities to support an increasingly mobile workforce and student body.
Higher education is the epitome of the "bring your own device" (BYOD) trend and switching from legacy hardware to softphones can help institutions reduce costs while increasing flexibility for student communications and internal processes.
Dartmouth College took the plunge with GoTo Connect, a cloud-based, integrated solution that's user-friendly and easy to deploy. The entire community can now turn their smartphones and laptop into a softphone to place and receive calls via their Dartmouth number from anywhere without being tied to specific hardware.
Challenge #2: Business continuity
During the height of the pandemic, organizations learned the importance of having the tools and structure to support business continuity and ongoing communication. But a health crisis isn't the only challenge that could grind things to a halt. Institutions must prepare for unforeseeable circumstances such as natural disasters.
They need dependable and reliable communication and collaboration technologies to stay operational during major disruptions. A modern VoIP phone system can help you increase control and streamline management while ensuring seamless operations and accessibility via any device.
The Vallejo City Unified School District, located in an area prone to wildfire and earthquakes, selected our flexible GoTo Connect solution to help address their growing concerns for business continuity. Our technologies allow students, staff, and faculty to stay in touch, even with unreliable internet connectivity.
Challenge #3: IT Resource constraints
Many IT departments are stretched thin while having to work with a limited budget. If you have a small tech team, it's essential to ensure that everyone can manage all the business-critical infrastructure (e.g., phone system) to minimize downtime and poor user experiences.
Legacy communication systems aren't cost-effective for most organizations. On-premises infrastructure may cause runaway IT costs, while the complexity makes it difficult to share knowledge and onboard new IT team members. Schools need a cloud-based integrated communication system that's easy to operate and maintain.
Seminole State College switched to GoTo Connect to improve student, faculty, and staff communication while lowering costs. It also uses GoTo Webinar to connect the community and GoToAssist to enable its IT department to provide virtual assistance to faculty and staff so the team can do more with less while minimizing downtime.
Challenge #4: Student connections and community awareness
While many schools have gone digital in response to the COVID-19 closures, some find it challenging to maintain a sense of connection and belonging among students, teachers, parents, board members, etc.
As the dust settles and life returns to normal, more people realize that while going digital is imperative, we can't afford to lose the human touch and relationships that keeps the community together. We need the right tools to keep everyone connected and give students access to the support they need when they need it.
Fraser Public Schools initially took advantage of GoTo’s Emergency Remote Work Kit offer during the pandemic to support remote learning and working. We caught up with them since then and they continued their GoTo partnership and discovered a whole new way of keeping everyone connected. For example, GoTo Webinar was used to simulcast a socially- distanced graduation so that extended and long-distance family members could enjoy the graduation ceremony and GoTo Meeting was leveraged to offer and support students whose family prefers or needs virtual classwork.
Deliver a modern learning experience with a cloud-based, integrated communication platform
From supporting distance learning and maximizing faculty productivity to building community, K-12 schools and high education institutions trust GoTo for user-friendly collaboration between faculty and safe communication with students.
Our integrated solutions can help you improve IT cost-efficiency, simplify administration, address business continuity, and keep everyone in your community connected to deliver an outstanding student and faculty experience.
As we enter a new era of online and in-person learning, GoTo is here to help you deliver positive and secure interactions at an affordable and predictable cost. Learn more about our education solution and get in touch to see how we can help.