Keeping up with the cloud: The changing landscape of education
Keeping up with the cloud:
The changing landscape of education
As the education sector undergoes a rigorous digital transformation, the role of the educator changes with it.
While that digital transformation ramp-up goes through the stages, uses of cloud technology and innovations such as IoT and cloud services increase. Meanwhile, the government's mandate for a cloud-first public sector puts the pressure on education professionals to explore new technologies.
Educators throughout the spectrum, from early years professionals to those in higher education, have been looking for ways to build a cloud infrastructure that helps lower costs and improve learning experiences for the emerging digital native generations.
In the wake of an unprecedented increase in distance learning, bricks and mortar education centres are rapidly making room for cloud-based education platforms. With students increasingly relying on innovative technologies and multiple devices, educators must rise to the challenge of sourcing a cloud platform that is designed to deliver a comprehensive virtual school environment.
Cloud computing in education is undeniably on the rise, and it’s here to stay. While many education institutions move toward a blended learning model, IT managers and teaching professionals' key focus is to find a solution that can truly support them in driving student success as they study remotely. RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud for education solution gives educators the tools they need while equipping digital-savvy students with the means to learn from anywhere, anytime.
For more insight into how cloud technology can help you modernise and fine-tune your learning environment, browse our education sector case studies.
The benefits of cloud solutions in educational institutions
Investing in one single multi-cloud solution not only helps you to reduce costs. Finding the right cloud solution can truly improve the efficiency of your organisation’s communications with parents, students and internally with a more friction-free user experience.
Migrating to a cloud education solution means the daily resources you and your students need are at your fingertips. Whether you’re in the classroom, at home, in the office, in meetings or on the move, your critical resources can be stored and shared at the click of a button, all within your dedicated cloud platform.
While an efficient management system reduces strain on staff in terms of time management and time spent travelling to and from meetings, a tailored cloud education platform also allows students to have unfettered access to the critical day-to-day learning resources they need. Instant access to all the tasks, briefs and files they need, as well as being able to instantly connect with their teachers, means students are free to work at their own pace, whether they’re at home or in class.
Choosing the right cloud-based application for your education centre means you and your teams can streamline processes, save time and improve productivity among staff and students.
The benefits for students:
- A cloud education platform gives students access to education anywhere, anytime
- Online learners can work productively around their schedule, or manage their time around their parents’ respective commitments and time restraints whilst at home
- Learners can access resources via an easy-to-use app which is compatible with multiple different devices
- Pupils can benefit from more open two-way communication in an online learning environment compared with a more formal one-way classroom structure
- Digital natives and older online learners can benefit from more engaging, interactive learning content and multimedia resources such as video
- Learning resources are hosted online, so students can access them quickly and easily all in one easy-to-use platform
The benefits for staff:
- Staff can effectively enable education to take place anytime, anywhere according to their own schedules and commitments
- Teachers can truly maximise both asynchronous and synchronous learning methods using video, chat, and audio functions
- Save faculty time travelling between campuses or separate school sites
- Send and receive team messages in groups or one-to-one for discrete and secure internal staff communication
- Communicate with parents, administrators and students in real time and while on the move
- Record, save, and share virtual video classroom content to avoid wasting time on repetition
- Use annotations to mark homework and coursework or review lesson plans and resources
- Connect students, staff and parents all in one safe, reliable cloud education solution
Connect and collaborate in one unified platform
Streamlining your communications and encouraging collaborative learning via the cloud can have a huge impact on productivity.
Being able to connect and collaborate not only with fellow members of staff, but students and parents all via one handy classroom collaboration tool, results in a much more efficient, well-rounded virtual workplace.
While staff can make use of the flexibility of being able to connect in real time from any device, they can also keep a healthy work-life balance by keeping their work and personal lives separate.
RingCentral’s collaborative learning tool allows staff to use separate personal and professional numbers, all controllable via the easy-to-use platform.
Quick, efficient, and engaging collaboration is made easier by RingCentral with features including instant messaging, online presence, file sharing and annotations as well as audio calls and video conference calling functionality. Our handy video recording feature even means you can rehearse and record lessons so students can watch, engage, and repeat.
The new age of communication in education
With blended learning methods set to change the future landscape of education, more power will be put back in the learners’ hands, allowing pupils and students to take control over the pace of their own learning. With hybrid approaches to education set to increase in uptake, a key challenge for education institutions is to find the right solution to help drive student success while offering the feature-rich and user-friendly environment that teachers need.
A dedicated education communications solution has the power to transform student-teacher communications, improving the efficiency of collaborations and encouraging easier real-time contact between pupils and staff.
Message. Sending messages and sharing files via the online chat function means pupils can easily and discretely ‘speak-up’ when they might not have the confidence to do so in a more traditional classroom environment.
Video. RingCentral Video allows teachers to connect with students face-to-face. Whether you’re running a virtual classroom with high student numbers, or a more relaxed briefing or tutorial, HD video allows teachers to continue to check-in and get invaluable face time with their students.
Phone. Online presence shows when students or teachers are available, meaning that either party can connect quickly to discuss a work task or homework assignment in more detail, all in real-time and at the click of a button
Minimising IT costs for schools
Whether it’s through cuts to funding or capital budgets, schools are continuously being asked to do more with less.
RingCentral helps schools to reduce their telecoms total costs by streamlining processes, meeting your aims and objectives for a cloud-first strategy.
Pay your way
Having to forward-plan in terms of school finances means it’s important to have a school telephone system that allows for manageable, monthly payments rather than an unpredictable upfront cost. RingCentral’s phone systems for education allow schools to invest in the way that suits them, either with monthly payments or traditional CAPEX purchasing options for institutions that find this more manageable.
Scale up and down to reduce operating costs
Our tailored voice over IP (VoIP) solutions for schools come with in-built flexibility, allowing you to amend your subscription numbers so you don’t pay for unused dormant services. Accommodate seasonal and year-to-year fluctuations in staffing and student registrations during the school holidays or outside of your peak times, helping you to reduce your operating costs.
Streamline your phone system
Our specially designed phone systems for education institutions allow you to reduce strain on your resources as well as your IT expenditure by using intuitive and easy-to-use call management processes and intelligent call routing. Adopting a school phone system which isn’t ‘desk-bound’ means you can reduce strain on your switchboard agents or reception staff.
RingCentral’s cloud-based solution comes with messaging, voice, audio and video meetings, eFax, mobile apps, presence, call queues, unlimited storage, task management and file-sharing tools, automated dashboards and actionable analytics all in one unified mobile and desktop app, meaning you can manage all your communications needs on the move, all in one easy-to-use platform.
World-class technical support from RingCentral
Not only does RingCentral give you the confidence in using a resilient, reliable unified communications solution that’s been commended by industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester, it also allows your teams to benefit from RingCentral’s world-class support services, on hand to help iron out any teething problems quickly and easily.
Upfront cost savings
Opting for a regular monthly payment plan means your RingCentral solution is pretty much ready to go. Quick to deploy and with no need for excess hardware, your school telephone systems can be up and running and ready for use in record time. All you need is access to the internet.
Fine-tune your technology
With multiple platforms and solutions with disparate functions, tech processes can seem a bit messy. RingCentral’s software allows you to integrate your cloud phone system, with all your important applications like Google and Microsoft products, Moodle and Kahoot!, or build your own tailored integrations with all your favourite apps using our open API platform.
How to transition to virtual learning?
Need to transition to a virtual learning environment? Get started with resources and best practices for faculty, teachers, parents, and students.
How can you transition to virtual learning?
Virtual learning is set to play a major role in the future of education. How can educational institutions future-proof operations and transition smoothly to a virtual learning model?
Forward planning is key. Preparing resources and lesson plans for use in an exclusively online environment is a good place to start. At a time when students are more digitally engaged and adept than ever, and with an abundance of online resources at your fingertips, integrating innovative technologies to help plan ahead and transition to a virtual environment has never been easier.
Communication is key. Briefing students on new technologies and being accessible for questions and discussions is paramount in maintaining productivity in a virtual environment. Contact with parents and other stakeholders is also key when transitioning away from a bricks and mortar classroom model, so having a solution which allows you to be contactable while you’re on the move, from any device, becomes even more important.
Staying secure, protecting sensitive data and keeping students safe in a virtual environment has been a key concern for educators. RingCentral’s encrypted networks and multiple layers of authentication diligently safeguard all your communications, meaning you can feel assured in terms of online security.
Choose the right virtual learning platform for you
Whether you want to offer a small-scale virtual classroom experience, or a larger lecture-hall style session, be sure to choose the right solution to suit your everyday education needs.
With RingCentral Meetings, you can connect up to 200 participants in video meetings with screen sharing. For larger classes, you can host up to 3,000 attendees with up to 200 presenters for live sessions using RingCentral Webinar.
RingCentral Rooms is an affordable way to set up a class without expensive proprietary equipment. And if you want to adapt a legacy system, RingCentral Room Connector is the perfect solution.
IT Manager, Coursera
Best practices in adopting cloud education solutions
Planning ahead and implementing a cloud education solution is a lot easier with a provider you can trust. Your school and university IT teams should always work alongside your cloud education provider to form an effective deployment plan. Facilities planning, staging and testing, as well as training, should be conducted alongside your cloud education experts to efficiently adopt your new cloud-based phone system for schools.
A Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running, RingCentral software is tailored for your educational institution. Our teams work with you through every phase of the cloud adoption process in accordance with best practice. From designing your virtualised software architecture, through planning your security structure, to workload migration and full final implementation, deployment with RingCentral is designed to bring minimal disruption to your day-to-day workflow, and allow your teams to focus on developing our future leaders while RingCentral professional service engineers do the legwork.
Set your education phone system now
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