Can Your Campus Mass Communication System Do These 6 Things?

A campus-wide communications system that’s reliable and versatile can serve the needs of an education institution now and well into the future.

Can Your Campus Mass Communication System Do These 6 Things?

(Photo: tutti_frutti, Adobe Stock)

Education is in the midst of a rapid transformation as many schools and universities continue to navigate in-person, virtual and hybrid learning environments. The importance of technology adoption in education has never been clearer.

The rapid transformation of the traditional education setting has heightened the need for technology that keeps faculty and students connected. Education institutions are quickly understanding the need for reliable, easy-to-use technology to provide their students with clear communication to support learning experiences.

Audio in education serves many different purposes. It’s a reliable method to relay emergency alerts, notifications, and routine announcements across an entire campus. It’s also a way to support lectures and large gatherings, event productions, sporting events and other academic engagements. It’s easy to see how important a versatile and reliable mass communication and campus-wide communication system is for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

Information and technology have become key infrastructure components for supporting communication. However, unique acoustical challenges and expansive square footage can complicate effective communication. Cafeterias, auditoriums, hallways, classrooms, gymnasiums and stadiums have high ambient noise levels with lots of space to cover. To satisfy the numerous communications needs of an education campus, the audio technology must be flexible, scalable, and intelligent enough to be customized for variable conditions, environments, and audiences.

Here are six key components to consider when choosing a campus-wide communication system:

  1. Clarity of notifications: A combination of high-quality audio and video notifications delivered across the entire system ensures effective communication. Technology focused on optimizing sound quality for spoken word is key to overcoming acoustical challenges. In loud areas, video notifications can support audio message delivery.
  2. Ease of integration: An audio system that offers easy integration with third-party control systems can enable a more comprehensive and intuitive ecosystem across an entire campus. It’s important to ensure audio technologies can communicate (quite literally) across a diverse set of technology components.
  3. Emergency alerts: In an emergency, audio technology can be automated to sync with the fire alarm system or other alerts. For example, various National Weather Service alert-driven visual and audible campus notifications can be delivered based specifically on a weather event’s location and severity, allowing schools to issue shelter-in-place or other emergency instructions promptly.
  4. Schedules and routines: Recurring bells, tones, and audio distribution schedules to all zones or even select paging zones can streamline day-to-day communication operations. Routine actions that can be conditionally executed based on numerous real-time variables for even more targeted responses to critical events as they unfold.
  5. Zoning: Zoning ensures that messages are delivered to the appropriate spaces within a campus. For example, the system could be configured to treat elementary, middle, and high schools as their own zones. Or, another example would be dividing a higher education campus into a zone for each building. All zones can be selected to ensure critical information is delivered to everyone in emergency situations.
  6. Streamlined communication: In an emergency, school districts require an effective, integrated emergency notification solution that can streamline communication across an entire school district. An active emergency at one school campus can result in an immediate emergency procedure across all campuses within the school district. It’s important to ensure communications can be routed from a central office location and distributed across all campuses.

Kate Calderon is marketing manager for Bogen Communications.

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