Collaboration Tools Build Productive Campuses

Just as in every other corner of the world, the pace of life on university campuses is speeding up. Students, faculty and administrators are always on the move, rotating among classrooms, campuses and even off-campus events and internships.

Today’s tech-savvy students use several devices to speed their work and be more productive. In a recent survey, the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research found that almost a third of students own a laptop, smartphone and a tablet. What’s more, they expect instructors to leverage more technology in the classroom. Video conferencing and messaging are in constant use. These collaboration tools streamline communications and keep students and faculty in the know.

Unified communications enables universities to blend collaboration tools into the campus network. By doing so, they provide students and faculty with numerous ways to communicate across devices and networks. Creating an environment that makes collaboration easy is the key to a productive campus.

A deeper dive into today’s available technology illustrates why collaboration is an important concept for universities to embrace. Indeed, to retain top students and attract new talent, universities must offer the best when it comes to collaboration tools and unified communications.

There's a lot of misinformation out there about what actually improves productivity. Check out the top 7 producitivity myths here. >

How collaboration tools create a productive campus environment

Audio, web and video conferencing remove the campus’s physical boundaries, making information easier to access. Conferencing options make formal lectures and informal coaching sessions available to students regardless of location. If a student is traveling abroad, working at an internship or is sick, they can still take part in sessions and exchange ideas with other class members and faculty. Professors add more value to lectures with extra support and specialized resources, while students collaborate on group projects without having to meet in the same physical location.

Video conferencing provides the added benefits of face-to-face interaction, making communications clearer and discussions more productive and engaging. The cost savings associated with reduced travel between campuses are an added bonus.

Dynamic extensions enable real-time communications. The system administrator can associate a given user’s profile with several devices at once. So, when someone reaches out, every device responds and the user doesn’t miss the call. Meanwhile, users can manage the presence of each device to fit their work pattern. Students and faculty members are always reachable even as they move around and off campus and switch between devices.

A mobile solution keeps students and faculty connected at all times. WANs provide full access to campus services and collaboration tools regardless of device and location.

Unified messaging increases productivity by enabling real-time communications. Users can manage all voicemail boxes from a single interface and access their messages anytime, anywhere and from any device.

Multimedia outbound notification enables faculty and staff to remind students about events, project deadlines and the availability of test and project results. Administrators can deliver emergency alerts across campus in an instant, enhancing security initiatives.

IP communications permit students to work remotely, at any location the networks reach. This includes WAN, LAN, Wi-Fi and broadband networks.

A presence indicator provides immediate access to the administrator who can provide the quickest resolution to an emerging issue.

Open APIs allow universities to create the solution that best fits their demographic, size and user needs. Solutions are flexible without locking schools into a particular vendor.

Does your campus get an ‘A’ when it comes to collaboration?

Collaboration tools transform the learning experience, making location irrelevant and extending an instructor’s office hours. Students and faculty exchange ideas in a meaningful way and benefit from the ability to talk face-to-face, even if they are miles apart.

Seamless access to tools and systems across devices and networks brings your university to the forefront in communications technology. Earn high marks from your student body and faculty with a modern and innovative unified communications solution.

Carleton University overhauled their communications system, improving productivity and security across campus. To learn how they pulled it off, click here. >

Original Article

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