Given many of its programs' practical skills and vocational training, classes often require demonstrations and hands-on learning. So when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Tulsa Tech knew it had to come up with effective remote learning solutions quickly.
Founded in 1965, Tulsa Technology Center is the oldest and largest independent public school district affiliated with the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. It offers full-time career training programs, part-time evening and weekend classes, and customized training for local and regional partners. With 11 campuses, Tulsa Tech gives adult and secondary school learners a wide variety of educational training in areas like automotive, aircraft, cybersecurity, healthcare, and more.
In 2021, everyone was sent home, and faculty and staff were not back on their campuses for three and a half months, presenting a big hurdle in the university's phone system. The existing on-premises phone system did not lend itself well to a distributed work environment. Initially, the school created a patchwork of workarounds, such as forwarding calls to employees' homes or cell phone numbers, but the system was challenging to manage and did not support softphones.
This solution worked in the short term; however, the IT team decided to use Microsoft Team Phone, which integrates phones directly into Teams for a better-blended work and learning experience.
The school evaluated various phones and ultimately chose Yealink, a Microsoft Gold Communications Partner. The Yealink MP56 features a 7-inch touch screen with a Teams-tailored user interface, Noise Proof Technology, and full-duplex hands-free speakerphone, providing crystal-clear conversations.
"Implementing Yealink meeting room devices enabled us to engage with students who study remotely, to
make them feel that they are connected to the classroom and connected to their teachers. Yealink helps to explore the possibilities for education".
Jason Durham, Director, Information Technology | Tulsa Tech
For the IT staff at Tulsa Tech, there’s no end in sight with what they can do with Microsoft Teams and Teams Rooms. For instance, the school partners with high schools in 13 different school districts to offer vocational training. It has recently started setting up Microsoft Teams Rooms using Yealink devices in those facilities, so that students don’t have to travel to one of its campuses in order to attend a class. Not only does this extend Tulsa Tech’s reach, it gives students more opportunities to engage in additional learning. Here too, Tulsa Tech has opted for a Yealink device—the Yealink MeetingBar A30, an all-in-one video collaboration bar that can be mounted on a mobile cart and moved around as needed.
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