Utilize the Tools to Reach Everyone in Your School

alert software for K12 schools by EdTech Digest

Making the Difference in K-12

As schools let out for the summer, planning is already underway for next year. Part of that planning should include a review of your mass notification system. Schools need to assess their capabilities for reaching everyone during an emergency. Pat Scheckel, senior vice president of marketing at Singlewire Software, recently contributed an article to the K-12 outlet, EdTech Digest outlining how an easy-to-use notification system is a critical component of K-12 school communications. 

The following story was originally published on June 21, 2016, by EdTech Digest.

During a school emergency, time is crucial. Whether its an injury, intruder or active shooter, notifying personnel of the situation in a timely manner to start responding and managing the crisis can make all the difference. But, it’s not just about having the proper procedures in place, it’s about having the tools to reach everyone, wherever they are in a building or campus. To help with this challenge, many schools are implementing emergency notification systems are to bring together disparate systems and notify everyone. However, with rapidly changing technologies, it can be difficult to know which solution will be the best fit for your school.

Schools should look for systems that are easy to use, offer multiple message options for notifications, alerts to help manage almost any scenario and new technology that leverages investments in existing systems.

Learn more about mass notifications for schools

Easy to Use

In an emergency situation, asking for help should be as easy as a push of a button. Whether that’s a discreet panic button, a built-in feature on a desk phone or the swipe of a smartphone, the last thing you want is for people to worry about remembering a complex set of steps to trigger a notification. It’s also important to utilize a system that can send to multiple communication methods with a single push. Systems that offer the ability to build groups make it easy to notify everyone on multiple devices without the need to draft and send separate messages.

Multiple Message Types

When sending a message, it’s important to be able to provide the appropriate amount of context. Look for a system that lets you send text, audio, and images to give your staff the information they need to manage the situation. SMS, push notifications, email, desktop notifications, and text to speech functionalities help ensure messages reach everyone, wherever they are.

Respond to Any Situation

A truly robust system will go beyond alerts for intruders. School officials should look for additional features that monitor for severe weather alerts that might impact schedules, and bell systems to automate class changes, recess, and end of day bells. The ability to initiate lockdowns, monitor and record 911 calls and alert people about medical emergencies are also important features for many schools.

Technology Integration

School budgets are limited, so look for a system that can integrate with existing technologies to help save on costs. Door locks, overhead paging systems, panic buttons and other legacy technology should be able to work with an emergency notification system to help keep people safe and aware during an emergency.

Mobile Matters

Perhaps the most important feature to look for in an emergency mass notification system is its mobile text alert capabilities. Mobile devices provide direct access to alert people of a situation. A system that offers push notifications, text and audio messaging, group conference calling and real-time response monitoring can help ensure a successful outcome during an emergency.

 Read the full article at EdTech Digest.




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