Two-way radios help streamline operations in countless industries, and education is one of them. With durable construction, reliable connections, and instant push-to-talk communication, walkie talkies for schools streamline day-to-day tasks, as well as help staff respond to emergencies more efficiently.
For over 60 years, Radio Communications of Virginia has been the premier supplier of wireless communications equipment, including two-way radios, for people in the Richmond, Tidewater, and Southside, VA, areas.
Best Two-Way Radios for Education
Why Choose a Two-Way Radio?
Equipping staff with two-way radios makes it easier for principals, deans, administrators, and educators to manage daily tasks. When a bus is delayed due to weather, the driver and dispatcher can update the principal in real time. When the dean and head of security need to meet for an ad-hoc meeting, they can coordinate quickly and directly.
Plus, two-way radios are faster and more reliable in an emergency. For instance, if a coach has to get in touch with the school nurse immediately, a two-way radio makes that happen.
Two-Way Radios vs Cell Phones
Pop quiz: What’s better for meeting the needs of a school, a two-way radio or a cell phone?
The answer is a two-way radio. Although cell phones are convenient and capable, they are not as reliable and efficient as two-way radios. Two-way radios, or walkie talkies, are superior for a few reasons:
- Durability: Two-way radios undergo rigorous testing, often to military standards, to survive drops, dust, water, extreme temperatures, and more. Plus, they often have impressive battery lives—some can operate for over 24 hours on a single charge. Cell phones are more fragile with a shorter battery life.
- Cost: Equipping staff with cell phones requires a sizable upfront investment, and the costs don’t end there. Cell phones also require service contracts and other fees, so opting for cell phones means adding additional expenses every month. Walkie talkies for schools are ready to go right away—no monthly service fees, no lengthy contracts. For budget-conscious administrators, they’re the way to go.
- Ease of use: Two-way radios provide one-touch push-to-talk capability for instant communication—no fumbling with passwords, dialing a number, and hoping the person on the other line answers. When coordinating the education and safety of an entire student body as well as other educators that downtime adds up, resulting in a less-efficient workflow. Plus, in an emergency, instant communications make it more efficient to cooperate.
Communications 101: Choosing the Best Two-Way Radios for Your Educational Facility
Choosing the right school radios is a matter of determining your institution’s needs. To find a walkie talkie system that works for you, ask yourself the following questions:
How big is the campus?
Larger campuses require two-way radios with more range. Two-way radios can have ranges of up to 20 miles in an open field, but in densely populated environments, especially those with large buildings that could impede radio waves, that range is realistically closer to about two miles.
Increasing range is a matter of choosing a radio with a higher wattage. Lower-power hand-held portable radios typically operate on 0.5 watts, and higher-power ones use up to 2 watts. Base stations, like those used for bus dispatch, can be as powerful as 50 watts.
When you reach out to Radio Communications of Virginia, let us know how big your campus is so we can guide you toward a radio that can meet your needs. A large university is going to have different needs than a small elementary school, after all!
Who needs to communicate?
Principals, administrators, teachers, and coaches all need to get in touch with each other throughout the school day. On top of that, many districts have bus routes that they coordinate, too. Use the number of staff to determine how many channels your radios should be able to accommodate.
If your educational facility has fewer staff members, then a less powerful two-way radio will be sufficient. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that technology for two-way radio communications evolves all the time, and digital communications are becoming more common than analog. Educators should look for two-way radios that are compatible with both, so they can be better prepared for changes in the future.
What unique functions do you need?
Walkie talkies can come equipped with specialized features to help you make the most of your communications. Some of the features that you can look for when choosing your next two-way radio include:
- GPS Tracking
- Emergency Call Button
- Text Message Capability
Types of Educational Facilities
Professionals in education benefit from incorporating radios into their school’s technology outfit—there’s no doubt about that! However, since there are many different kinds of schools, there are many walkie talkies to consider. Keep reading to see how different educational facilities can utilize different radios.
Daycares and Preschools
The instant, one-touch talk capability of radios makes educating and caring for young children easier than ever. The Motorola CP200 Series is a great fit. It offers basic messaging and ease of use for smaller operations.
Kindergarten Through High School
As students graduate from daycares and preschools to the K-12 system, their needs change. One of the biggest changes is that students may now for the first time start taking the bus. Coordinating a bus schedule requires a powerful and reliable two-way mobile radio.
We often recommend the Motorola XPR 5350e for its clear audio, 32-channel capacity, and available safe accessories, like hands-free visor microphones. For larger districts, the 1,000-channel XPR 5550e offers the same reliability as the XPR 5350e, but with more capacity.
Principals and teachers often benefit from using the Motorola Solutions HT750™ Portable Two-Way Radio, one of the best walkie talkies for schools. In addition to its clear audio, it offers a programmable emergency button for getting in touch during urgent situations. Its durable and no-nonsense design makes it easy to start use right away. Administrators and safety officials alike can carry these radios throughout the school day.
This durable radio is also useful during after-school events, like Friday night football games. Instead of searching for someone specific in a crowded stadium, use this ambient-noise-canceling radio to broadcast your message loud and clear over the noise of the fans.
Graduating from high school to college is an exciting time in a student’s life, but it also poses unique challenges for administrators and educators.
With larger areas to cover, administrators, educators, and security personnel need more powerful radios, especially for large campuses in densely populated urban areas. In addition, there are new security risks. Students and staff come and go at all hours.
Campus security can benefit from the water-resistant XPR 7550e. This high-powered two-way portable radio offers excellent battery life and audio quality, and it is also operable on all analog and digital systems for integration into an existing fleet. Plus, with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS tracking, security personnel can get over-the-air updates and locate their associates more easily.
Administrators and deans have unique responsibilities. They are often the faces of their departments, meeting publicly with other experts, but they also coordinate academic efforts. The SL7550e provides powerful range over analog and digital, as well as discreet operation. Its sleek, pocket-sized design also features a vibrate function for silent alerts in meetings.
Why Partner with Radio Communications of Virginia for School Walkie Talkies?
Radio Communications of Virginia has been supplying schools in the Richmond, Tidewater, and Southside areas for decades. Our expertise extends beyond supplying two-way radios, though.
- Our expert techs are also pros at in-vehicle mobile radio installation, making added equipment look like it came straight from the factory. When it comes to connecting your busses to your radio fleet, we can help.
- In addition, we have FCC-certified technicians on hand to make sure that all the custom solutions we design for you are compliant with all legal requirements.
- Operate your wireless communications systems, security system, and more under one umbrella with system integration. We can make all your processes interoperable, which streamlines the day-to-day process and keeps information more organized for record storage.
- After we provide you with the equipment you need and install it, we’re still here for you. We offer after-hours emergency service.
To learn more about the best two-way radios for schools and all the ways we can keep your educational facility connected, contact us or partner with Radio Communications of Virginia.