PCR Educator Blog Preview
Emergency Notification System for Independent SchoolsPCR Educator’s Voice/Text/Email Emergency Notification System for independent schools was upgraded with a Machine Detection Algorithm from our partner Cisco. The algorithm analyzes the call recipient’s voice to determine whether it’s a human or a machine, improving the quality of the delivered message and the accuracy of voicemails left with answering machines. Thus, when our system executes emergency calls to your constituency, it is also able to leave voicemails when the call is not picked up by the recipient.

One of the important concepts related to machine-human and machine-machine interactions is the accuracy of the aforementioned algorithm. It can be quite tricky to distinguish a machine from a human because of the variety of answering machines and service providers. Ultimately, only a human, scoring the call, can guarantee if it was answered by a machine or a human as we don’t have true artificial intelligence machines yet.

Nevertheless, the machine detection algorithm can be relatively successful in recognizing the answering machine by analyzing the length of the silence period and deciding when to start dictating the message to ensure that the answering machine on the other end is ready to receive that message. For example, we analyze vocal patterns when distinguishing humans and machines. Additionally, our algorithm evaluates the user’s reaction to prompts. By offering the call recipient to take an action when asked whether they want to listen to the emergency message, we are able to detect answering machines which cannot react to the given prompt and provide no input.  We are also waiting for a beep signal which usually identifies an answering machine.

While our engineers constantly work on improving the accuracy of machine detection, there are several measures our schools can take which would greatly improve the results.

Customer Awareness

For example, if your customers are aware of the fact that they may occasionally receive an important call from you, they would be more likely to listen to the introductory message, which gives the machine detection algorithm a chance to analyze the user behavior when asked to perform certain actions to continue the call, therefore identifying themselves as humans. PCR Educator Emergency Notification System includes your school name in its introductory message lest call recipients discard the call as a spam.  

Caller Identification

Similarly, your users will likely pick up the call if they are familiar with your number. Thus, it is important to invest time and resources in educating your constituency. Just like you may occasionally practice fire drills; it may be worth conducting test emergency message distribution on a yearly basis. It also goes without saying that it is crucial to maintain an accurate list of your constituency and all relevant numbers which could be used in case of an emergency.

Accurate Emergency Numbers

Since PCR Educator provides an integrated database that includes Student Information System, Admissions, Finance and Fundraising, the phone numbers would usually be very accurate and up-to-date as they will be constantly updated and verified by all departments as well as parents. We also recommend that you use our electronic Reenrollment and Enrollment Forms application which walks your parents through the process of updating their information and confirming the accuracy of unchanged information.
PCR Educator K-12 School Information System is an online database engineered for independent and private schools to deliver the highest level of flexibility, unique experience, transparent communication and customized design. Being a complete cloud-based solution, PCR Educator system guarantees convenient access anytime, anywhere.