Security | News
Indiana District Issues Alerting Buttons to Teachers
- By Dian Schaffhauser
An Indiana school district is adopting a wireless panic button system that allows teachers to alert others to safety problems. The Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District, with an elementary, middle and high school, is testing out the Real-Time Location Systems Safety Alert by Ekahau.
The Ekahau product is a location-aware badge worn on a lanyard around the neck by teachers. When a problem surfaces, they pull down on the badge to alert others, including police dispatchers. Via Ekahau Vision software, security and police teams see the location of the teachers who sent the alert. They can communicate by two-way text, receive alarms when people enter restricted areas and send mass notifications that are "directionally intelligent" to warn people away from danger areas.
The Vision software is customizable to a school's safety communications plan and allows dispatchers to send mass notifications to teachers' badges, which are shown as text messages on the badge's display. The Ekahau program maintains an auditable recording of events for use in incident reporting.
"We wanted a thoughtful approach to school safety and Ekahau technology delivered," said Superintendent Wayne Barker. "With Ekahau badges and software, teachers can summon help and officials can send mass notifications instantly. By locating teachers quickly and enabling two-way communications between staff, we can respond to everyday emergencies faster than we ever could before."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.