The available technology to improve communications in K-12 schools has never been better.
In the past, (present day for too many), there were individual subsystems for any technology placed in the classroom. Each system was installed by different “experts” to make sure it worked properly.
Take for instance the simple clock. That clock had to be synchronized with every other clock in the school so classes began or ended simultaneously. It was installed and cabled by itself and when it didn’t work anymore you called the clock guy.
Then there was the PA or intercom speaker on the wall. It, too, was installed on its own cable and managed by another firm or dealer. Typically, it was a one-way communication device, meaning the announcements came in through it but you didn’t talk into it to communicate with the office. Many of those intercom systems were installed decades ago and are now failing.
Later, we added a phone to the classroom. You guessed it. It is yet another device that's cabled separately and managed by yet another firm. The up side of this addition, however, is the proof that two-way path of communication so important in today’s world.
Schools also added some really cool tech, like whiteboards and Chromebooks, to dramatically enhance the delivery of content to students.
And as class sizes increased, the need to enhance the audio quality and volume of instructors' voices became critical. So, wireless microphones and speakers were added to ensure all students heard the lesson, not just those in the front of the classroom.
I bring all of this up because we’ve been very busy at Capital putting together technologies that help K-12 schools do more with less.
- Less time spent managing separate, disparate systems.
- Less effort tracking down who is responsible for what subsystem.
- Less money spent on installing different cabling systems to connect them all.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Intercom/Paging over IP
Installed over your network cabling system. Delivers daily announcements — live and pre-recorded. The IP endpoints also provide time and date as well as flasher notification of messaging for ADA compliance. And the display changes color and text for clear notification of emergency situations. This solution is provided by AtlasIED and their partner Singlewire, publishers of Informacast. One cable to each class can absolutely change everything when it comes to communication with teachers and students.
We’ve recently partnered with Hanwha Techwin America, f/k/a Samsung Security, to offer their complete range of cameras to fit any need from basic budget-friendly to AI embedded 8K extremely high-definition.
In addition to working with the top brands of VMS systems, they also offer their own VMS called Wisenet.
Something you should check out right away is their new multi-sensor cameras that offer multiple cameras with one IP address to help save you money.
Wireless Access Points and Network Switches
As the need for convenient, secure, wireless connections continues to grow, CommScope’s Ruckus Networks provides a great solution. Their Access Points (APs) are known for the best throughput on the market AND they’re incredibly kind to budgets.
BeanFlex+ technology provides best in class connections that reduces the need to install APs more densely, which means you get more with less.
Once you have wireless access points, you’ll need to install them securely and efficiently. That’s where Acceltex comes in. They've got brackets and mounts to fit any antenna you can image.
Every device connected to your network requires power, and the best way to ensure they keep running is to install an uninterruptable power supply or UPS.
Additionally, since your intercom system may be used in an emergency, you’ll want to install a double-conversion UPS for the fastest switch-over from utility power to back up power. Double-conversion protects your system from even noticing the power is out.
Tripplite has many options of UPSs to meet your needs as well as charging stations for Chromebooks, rolling TV/monitor carts and sanitization units for tablets.
Last, but certainly not least, you know we offer the best cabling options in Wisconsin... from copper to fiber and all parts in between, we are ready to meet your performance and budget needs.
Remember, there’s a lot of great cable required in any wireless system!
Contact us today to learn about solutions from brands such as Systimax, Uniprise, Hubbell, Signamax, Hitachi and now Vextra.
Each brand with its own value but all come with our in-depth knowledge of how they fit together to deliver a network infrastructure that you will rely on for decades.