The pandemic fundamentally changed the face of education. Students have spent much of the last year being educated at home, with video conferences replacing classrooms and resources downloaded from the cloud. Educational technology companies (edtech, for short) have enjoyed newfound interest and increased sales.

While pupils are now returning to classrooms and students to lecture halls, the connection between education and technology isn’t going away. That’s because virtual revision aids and digital tutoring were becoming popular before the pandemic. Blended learning – where a traditional classroom approach is combined with online interaction – was already a growing solution to the challenges of modern student-centered education.

As a result, schools and colleges are having to change with the times. At the very least, they need to meet students and guardians halfway, with a range of communication options and collaboration tools. For example, video meetings with teachers can save time on both sides and students want to be able to text or chat with lecturers about an upcoming test or the results of an assignment.

Cloud communications for the new era of education

In this new world, good communication is key. Without it, blended learning is impossible. Clear audio and video calling allows for education to happen at a distance, when required.

And of course, educators and administrators also want the tools at their disposal to communicate and collaborate effectively with each other, as well as with students and parents.

That’s why more and more educational establishments are opting for cloud communications. Cloud-based unified communications help create more effective schools and colleges. Most importantly, they mean that every educator and administrator can take a full-featured communications platform with them wherever they go.

Industry leader Avaya Cloud Office, for example, offers voice, video, chat/IM, fax and multimedia messages from a single number, and from any device. It’s all available on a softphone client (app) that works with smartphones, tablets and laptops. All it takes is an internet connection to ensure team members can be accessible at all times.

Crucially, Avaya Cloud Office also offers full integration with Microsoft Teams, creating a powerful, feature-rich solution for internal as well as external communications. At Future Voice we know that smooth internal communication is essential in an education setting, which is why we refuse to follow others in charging a recurring monthly fee for Microsoft Teams integration.

What does all this mean for your school or college? It means some discussions and student meetings can be transferred out of the classroom or lecture hall, saving time and money. It means staff can be more productive, communicating with students, parents and colleagues in the way that best suits the situation. It means educators and students can meet, talk and collaborate, even when it’s impractical to do so in person.

Internally, teams can swap ideas, discuss student progress and synchronise timetables via video conference and chat. Admin and back office colleagues can share files and work on the same document at the same time.

Sharing knowledge is what education is all about. Cloud-based communications help facilitate the smooth flow of essential information.

Cost benefits of clouds

Of course, for many schools and colleges budgets have not kept up with the new demands for virtual services and blended classrooms. But here, too, the cloud can help.

Cloud-based systems remove the need for on-site PBX equipment, which can be expensive to maintain, repair and replace. Instead, your cloud communications provider keep your system running and up-to-date, so you don’t have to.

Avaya Cloud Office offers a smartphone and softphone app, saving you the costs of equipping staff with handsets. But we’re well aware that school and college reception staff often prefer working with dedicated phones, which is why Future Voice offers heavy discounts on a range of Avaya handsets.

With Avaya Cloud Office, schools and colleges can also benefit from cheaper call costs, because your subscription minutes can be pooled across all your lines. Future Voice offers a range of discounted subscription packages, so you can find the right voice and data service at the right price for every member of staff.

As budgets and staffing requirements change, your Avaya Cloud Office service changes with them. Because it lives in the cloud and is controlled from a simple, centralised management platform, you can scale the service up or down with just a couple of clicks.

Future Voice for cloud

Let Future Voice be your perfect partner as you transition to better communications. We have wide experience in meeting the needs of schools and colleges, and we know what you need from a communications service. With Future Voice and Avaya, we can help you find the right solution for a new era of education.

Cloud services are a route to more blended, student-centred education, and also to a better use of limited time for educators and administrators. Avaya Cloud Office gives you a huge range of benefits and does so more cost-effectively than on-premise alternatives.