Emerging Technology and School Safety

We are now entering a time where technology makes schools (and other industries) "smarter." Innovative advancements create technologies that work together to manage risk, enhance security, and also invite conversations around ethics and privacy. In this article, ITech Digital reviews some of the emerging technology and weighs some of the benefits and potential costs of each.


Emerging Technology and School Safety

Physical Security Interoperability Brings Disparate School Systems Together

Interoperability provides one of the greatest gains in terms of efficiency, operational insight, and security management for schools. It brings disparate systems together to allow for streamlined processes, holistic management, and integrated functionality. With interoperability, schools can connect process flows between numerous systems, some of which include:


Emerging Technology In Schools Today

Today's security solutions offer features and functionality in addition to interoperability. If you're not completely well-versed in the most current technology, you might be surprised to discover how far security solutions have advanced. Moreover, you'll be amazed at where it's headed. First, let's stick with what's already here. 


Surveillance Cameras in Schools. Today's video surveillance technology can provide crisp, clear, zoomable, searchable footage. They can integrate with access control and other systems to capture important footage, which provides greater insight to incidents and investigations. Additionally, you can load software to the cameras that increase functionality, add analytics, and so forth. Finally, they can hold storage, connect to on-premise servers,  store their data in the cloud, or use a hybrid model. 

Software/Technology. Use temperature gauges, smoke detectors, chemical detectors, and more to detect vaping, spot smoking, and other prohibited behaviors. 

Multi-Factor Authentication. Leverage access control and biometric cameras to implement multi-factor authentication for building or prohibited area access. 

Anomaly Detection. Create rules to identify exceptions, such as notifying someone if a teacher is at school at midnight or someone places a strange package in a location.

Building Floor Plan Integration. Spot exactly where an intruder goes in the building or where a fight initiated, and be able to communicate that information with staff or school resource officers in real-time.

Communications and notifications. Create rules to automate notifications in the event of an emergency, communicate with staff, and provide as much insight and communication as necessary during events.

Gunshot Detection. Receive immediate notification in an active shooter event, identify their location on campus, and respond accordingly.

Voice of God. Use camera surveillance to recognize loitering or potential intruders, which prompts an electronic audio warning that the campus is under surveillance and to vacate the premises. 


These are just some of the things you can do with current technology.


Artificial Intelligence To Predict Potential School Threats And Behaviors

Part of the goal of AI is to mitigate risk by being more proactive than reactive. One of the ways to execute that strategy is by predicting potential threats and behaviors. Below is a list of some of the things that are in early stages, some of which are already available but continue to evolve and improve. 


Social Listening. This technology picks up on key words or phrases entered by administrators and messages to permission-based users when registered. 

Attention-Based Neural Networks. This technology pulls together data points that when brought together present a risk, which administrators can then assess and address. For instance, it may notice that a student didn't eat lunch for four days in a row, stopped attending an after-school club, and is coming to school late recently. Someone could then determine if a counselor should check in on the student to make sure they're okay. 


What About Privacy For Students And Staff?

When it comes to the evolving nature of security, there are both costs and benefits. The benefits include disparate systems integrating to provide a much more holistic, proactive approach to school security and operations. At the same time, many people share concerns over privacy. Right now, there are more questions than answers in that regard. We'll continue to keep you up to date as conversations and technology continue to unfold. 


What About Funding For Schools?

Funding remains a top issue for schools and businesses concerned about technology-based services and electronic security solutions, and the digital transformation of security infrastructure. Fortunately, schools can leverage numerous grant opportunities, which we covered in a previous blog. Additionally, schools can always start with the most basic necessities and scale from there. 


ITech Digital is a security integrator that provides electronic security solutions to schools, restaurants, retail, and commercial properties. You can contact us online or call (866) 733-6673 to discuss a free site survey and consultation. Together, we'll develop a solution that meets your specific needs within your budget. 



Sarah Hurley
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