Connected Security on Campus

4/12/2013

M2M technology has long been viewed as tool for the security industry. These days, security often comes up in the context of schools, due to a number of tragic high-profile events, of which the stabbings on the campus of Lone Star Community College in Texas are merely the latest example. When thinking about school security, M2M provides a variety of options, some particularly targeted at schools and some aimed at a broader security marketplace.

During an emergency situation at a school, whether it’s a criminal event or a natural disaster like a tornado, knowing the whereabouts of students can be crucial. To meet this need, more schools are turning to RFID tracking of students. These solutions often require students to wear a badge or lanyard containing an RFID chip.

The systems allow school administrators to keep track of students, making sure everyone is accounted for if the need to evacuate the building or seek shelter arises.


Tracking technology is also being used on school buses. A solution from BlinkSpot, www.blinkspot.com, uses biometrics to identify students as they board and exit buses. When a student gets on or off, BlinkSpot’s iris scanning technology recognizes him or her and transmits realtime reports to the school. An email can also be sent to parents to let them know the student arrived safely.

BlinkSpot says each year many students may get on the wrong bus or miss a connection, and this technology can help locate them quickly.

M2M also enables a number of emergency response technologies that could be useful for schools. Apps can be used to send out instant alerts about emergency situations. In some cases, these alerts can be targeted to a specific region, as with Ping4alerts!, www.ping4.com. This app allows educational institutions to target anyone who may be on campus by sending out a localized alert to devices in the area.

School safety can also include the physical well-being of students as they move through the school area. By using M2M to monitor traffic in school zones, educational institutions can create a safer environment. One company, All Traffic Solutions, www.alltrafficsolutions.com, provides radar speed displays and digital signage to both remind drivers to keep their speed in check and to monitor speeds in the area. The settings can be changed to coincide with a school’s opening and dismissal times.

M2M is active in school safety and security, and while it’s not able to solve every problem, these types of solutions can provide more peace of mind to educators, students, and parents. Whether it’s monitoring students, providing alerts, or securing a building, options are available that can be tailored to a school’s needs.

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