Surveillance | News
K-2 School Adds Cameras to Classrooms for Parents, Teacher Evaluations
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A private school in Utah that serves children in pre-K through grade 2 is using video cameras to let parents watch what's going on in the classroom. Dancing Moose Montessori School in Salt Lake City, which has two locations, also uses the cameras to provide an efficient way to perform teacher evaluations without disrupting the class and provide an extra measure of school security.
The latest implementation, done before the start of school in 2013, consists of a combination of Axis Communications IP network cameras, including the M3006-V with a wide view and M3007-PV fixed mini dome with 360-degree and 180-degree panoramic views, to obtain "complete" views of each room. Outside the buildings the school is using P3364-VE network cameras with Lightfinder technology that, according to the company, maintains color and contrast even in low lighting conditions. The installation was handled by Salt Lake City-based Stone Security.
To monitor the cameras, the school is using Milestone XProtect Express video management software. Parents and staff can observe students and teachers with a pair of side-by-side 42-inch monitors that hang in the lobby. The system is configured to display as many as six camera feeds on each screen.
"The Axis-Milestone solution has become a huge selling point for our school," said Executive Director Jennifer Duffield. "Parents love the ability to drop off their children, who may be crying and suffering from separation anxiety, and check in after five minutes to see that their child is happy and engaged in the classroom. It's really powerful."
Parents and school administrators also watch how the teachers interact with their students. "It's nice to be able to pull a classroom image up on the screen to keep track of the teachers' lessons, or to see if students are behaving well or getting out of hand," Duffield noted. "What's great is that the Milestone and Axis technology allows us to observe classrooms without disturbing the lesson flow, and we see the true, unvarnished behavior of our students during their normal interactions with teachers."
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.