How cloud-based cameras can boost security
Cloud-based technology can provide a more secure and user-friendly system for school surveillance in cameras, says Ron Watson, thet technology coordinator for the New Milford School District in New Jersey.
The district is replacing a locally networked, DVR surveillance system with about 200 cloud-based, indoor and outdoor cameras at its four schools, Watson said during a presentation at January’s virtual Future of Education Technology Conference®.
The cloud-based system, made by Verkada, allows administrators to more easily monitor camera feeds remotely—from home, for instance. The system also sends alerts when, for instance, a camera detects a hallway or other area of a school becoming overcrowded.
The system can be configured so administrators receive alerts when more than five people are gathered in a single location, Watson said. ‘
More from DA’s FETC: What is your school district’s ‘cybersecurity story?’
The system can also generate heat maps of high-trafficked location so staff can clean those areas more intensively, he said.
The cloud-based cameras also allowed IT staff to keep tabs on the district’s “do-it yourself” Chromebook exchange.
Watch virtual FETC 2021
You can watch New Milford schools’ presentation until the end of February. Click here.
Parents and students were able to return old Chromebooks and pick up new ones just by pulling up to a school; no staff were required to be there in-person.
The system’s 360-degree cameras also help administrator monitor school athletic fields, which have been closed during the pandemic. Alerts are sent if anyone is detected using those facilities.
The system also sends alerts when cameras go offline. This is occured recently, when a tree knocked out power at the high school.
“That was the only way we knew we had lost power,” Watson said.
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