Learning how to make the best of comms technology

The UK government hopes a wider use of technology in education can reduce teacher workloads, increase efficiency, and improve accessibility, inclusion and student outcomes. James Atkinson takes a look at how technology is being used in the sector.

It is difficult to get a clear idea of the installed base of voice communications technology in the education sector. Some may just rely on personal mobile phones, but Andrew Wilson, managing director at Hytera distributor Syndico, says: “There is significant use of business-level PMR 446 (unlicensed) two-way radio at school level and a significant DMR use at college/ university level.

“Lots of the solutions our customers put into schools are simplistic, often PMR446 radios such as the Hytera PD365, which is a cost-effective product, but with all the traditional benefits of PMR in that they are durable and simple to use. Most of the marketing we support dealers with is around this type of radio solution.”

PMR446 solutions will suit single-site primary schools, but larger secondary schools, colleges and universities with dispersed footprints will require a licence from Ofcom for a two-way radio wide-area solution. Radios allow instant communications between individuals or particular talk groups, be they teachers, admin, maintenance, welfare, cleaning, catering or caretaker/ security staff.

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