While some schools are still taking baby steps towards their digital transformation, you’ve already taken the lead in this arena. But watch out—your work is definitely not over. In fact, it might be time to take a step back and do some thinking...
There’s no end to the new innovative technologies on the horizon. New gadgets, high-tech equipment, and other state-of-the-art devices are rapidly entering the market one after the other. This presents whole new vistas of opportunity: What’s possible today probably wasn’t as of even just last year...
For example, anything related to smart buildings is definitely experiencing a boom. Administrators now have the ideal opportunity to evolve the technological capabilities of their educational facilities. Here are a few tips to keep you abreast of the situation.
1. Consider your facility’s constraints
Before deploying any new innovative technology, you need to draft a plan of your site. You are probably the person with the most knowledge about the particularities of your building and how its design interferes with certain technologies.
During your last upgrade, you probably noticed, for example, that your network’s Wi-Fi signal is weak in certain areas. Concrete, whether it contains rebar or not, is one of the more problematic construction materials when it comes to wireless signals. Masonry and bricks can also be serious obstacles.
More modern buildings generally have better wireless connections due to the types of material used. Their design also takes into account any additional wiring or cables that might be needed in the future. On the other hand, if your building is very old, you probably wouldn’t want to install cabling in your existing walls, given all the inconveniences that would entail. But there are devices that can extend your signal into areas where extra cabling would not be desirable!
2. Take existing projects to a whole new level
Perhaps you installed carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors in your facility a few years ago. Your goal at the time was to check whether the air quality supported the health and safety of all occupants. The goal of your current game plan is therefore to simply detect the presence of CO2 in your facility.
But today these same types of smart sensor can do more, which might benefit your organization. For example, they can detect a number of different compounds that might be unhealthy, such as methane or ammonia. Installing a smart ventilation system could even ensure adequate ventilation of particular rooms when needed.
On another front, wireless sensors are now arriving on the market. Connected distributors of hand sanitizer, soap, paper towels, or toilet paper now let you know their levels of availability in real time. This is an efficient way of improving the management of supplies and rate of ordering from suppliers.
3. Understand your current infrastructure
Returning to the previous example, if you decide to add sensors, are you sure your current technology platform can support them? If it’s a proprietary platform, you probably can’t integrate new components from a third party. This is why it’s important to understand your current set of equipment before proceeding with any technology updates.
On the other hand, an open platform will be easier to work with. The partnership between Videotron Business and X-TELIA enables us to exploit a network created specifically for connected devices. We’re developing all kinds of applications to take advantage of the low-energy requirements, extended coverage, and greater security of our network.
Schools equipped with connected devices collect raw data through these applications. An open platform lets you consult this data through the LoRa network without having to use the management platform provided by the equipment manufacturer.
This will therefore allow you to change your platform when needed, such as when a better solution becomes available. Your data will belong to you—you won’t be stuck with a proprietary system or have to pay subscription fees for many years to access them.
4. Be prepared for anything
Your trusted telecommunications provider can help correct any connectivity issues you may have. Make sure you involve them in your project’s early stages. But whatever your project, one thing is for sure: Today’s connected schools must have a stable Wi-Fi network.
The network must be able to respond to your organization’s current and future technology needs. As a result, be sure to anticipate what may happen in the future that could disrupt your institution’s technology needs in the short, medium, and long term.
Lastly, why not unite all your business telecommunication needs under the same roof? This would allow you to take advantage of a single point of contact for all your services, plus combine greater efficiency with improved cost-effectiveness!
16 January 2023, By Videotron Business
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