Transforming K-12 and Higher Ed
Cost has always been the biggest problem; complexity is a challenging issue
- By Ken Francis
- October 01, 2021
A school needs more than great academics and smart students to
be an intelligent campus. To support education and intellectual
growth, campuses need to be safe, cyber-secure, and very
This does not come as news to community and education
leaders. Schools and colleges have wanted high performance security
systems for decades. The biggest problem has always been cost, and
then there is the complexity of the system, the challenge of integrating
video and access control, or the need to hire extra personnel with
special skills to manage the system.
For years, elite private schools and universities were the only campuses
benefiting from advanced security platforms and video management
systems. Thankfully, this trend is shifting, as cost-effective
and scalable video management systems and remote access technologies
have become available to K-12 school districts and universities
across the country. Now, companies like Eagle Eye Networks ofter
cloud video management systems that are seamlessly integrated with
existing technology, and managed with minimal effort.
Security Capabilities and Suspicious Activity
Violence on campuses is unfortunately something that all education
leaders must think about in a proactive way. The most important
benefits a school, its students and faculty gain from a cloud-based
video surveillance system is bolstered security across the campus.
It is essential, for example, for security staff to be able to react
instantly to a troubling situation, whether in the congested hallways
of a high school or middle school, or remote locations such as stadium
bleachers or large fields of a college campus.
Advanced analytics within a security system can notify security
personnel in real time of situations worth addressing, while providing
critical information to key decision makers so they can act quickly
and decisively. The adaptability and flexibility of these security systems allow for project scalability. Systems can be installed in phases
to avoid impacting the school day.
A phased approach makes it easier for schools to budget for security
investments, as does the subscription model of payment. Cloud video
surveillance requires a small initial investment, and then the school or
university pays for the system by subscription – a monthly fee based on
the number of cameras, the amount of time video is retained for each
camera, and what kind of video analytics are included in the system.
Maintenance and upgrades are delivered via the cloud for technology
Taxes and cybersecurity assurance. Features, such as analytics, can be
added or removed from the system remotely, at any time.
Take, for example, the University of Chicago, which leveraged the
advanced capabilities of its cloud-based video management system to
ensure student safety in an on-campus residence hall. The university
quickly integrated a video management system to manage both exterior
and interior cameras at the dormitory. Combined with remote
viewing capabilities and motion detection, the cloud-based video
surveillance systems enabled the university to enhance security without
increasing its on-campus patrols.
Monitoring Insights from Object Counting and Line Crossing
Contributing to the intelligent campus are valuable video analytics
such as “people counting” analytics that monitor the number of faculty,
students and parents entering and leaving the building. This is
particularly helpful for security managers and school administrators
at the K-12 level, as it provides insight into the flow of people entering
a building at the beginning, middle, and end of the day.
Implemented districtwide, people counting functionality can be
scaled to multiple campuses to provide information for security and
optimization of school facilities. “Line crossing” analytics can provide
real-time alerts when movement is detected in restricted or sensitive
areas with high value assets, such as medical supplies and electronic
Faster Recognition of Loitering, Camera Tampering and Intrusion
Ensuring a secure and safe campus requires around-the-clock monitoring.
Advancements in cloud-based video surveillance technology
have made this task easier by enabling security teams to manage multiple
cameras from a single, centralized space and providing remote
access to make it possible to monitor video from a computer or
To ensure a swift response, custom loitering or intrusion alerts can
be created to set a clear perimeter around designated areas and send
a notification the moment an object or person breaches the boundary.
On a college campus that is far too large to physically patrol and
monitor efficiently, this technology is a force multiplier, allowing
campus security to keep an eye on multiple, large areas at once, like a
stadium, field, or parking lot. Camera tampering can also be flagged
in real time with instant notifications announcing when a camera is
blocked, moved, or otherwise tampered with.
Wellness and Elevated Temperature Support
From heavily populated public schools to small standalone preschools,
administrations across the country understand the need to
screen for elevated temperature as a way to identify persons who may
have a fever, and to lower the risk of spreading infection.
Temperature screenings have become a routine and time-intensive
requirement for entering many campuses across the country. By pivoting
to a cloud-based video surveillance system, organizations can
implement a safe and contactless solution to screening temperatures,
which, unlike alternate options, can be performed quickly, and without
Thermal cameras for preliminary temperature screening have some
simple requirements for set up, including being installed indoors, away
from wind and sunlight. Thermal camera vendors provide detailed
instruction on set up and best practices for thermal camera usage. The
cameras use specialized sensors that detect heat, instead of visible light.
The camera measures skin surface temperature of an individual’s forehead
or inner eye area. It provides visible and audio alerts if an individual
records an elevated skin surface temperature.
Meeting Special Education Regulations and Requirements
In recent years, an increasing number of states have introduced strict
regulations surrounding the monitoring of special education classrooms
in public schools.
Several states now require a video camera in every special education
classroom, and require up to 90 days of retention for the video.
To meet these requirements, many school administrators are finding
that cloud video management systems enable them to meet these
requirements economically and efficiently.
Addressing Cybersecurity Concerns
With the proliferation of malicious attacks, cybersecurity is becoming
one of the top concerns for education leaders and parents.
First, they want to protect the privacy of students and staff in the
classroom and around campus. To do that, it is essential that K-12
and colleges work with a provider of true cloud, one that manages
cybersecurity updates continuously. A true cloud video surveillance
system can maintain the privacy of student and teacher images
through encryption. It can also mitigate malicious software that could
harm a school's network and interfere with the learning and education
Access Control as a Service
The intelligent campus encompasses access control, as well as video
surveillance. Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) is the modern way
to bolster the security for any entity in the education space on and off
campus. ACaaS is cloud-based and integrates with existing technologies,
strengthening remote management in the event of an emergency
and creating a more efficient security solution.
Cloud-based access control is a key element of an intelligent campus.
From providing a unified security platform with an integrated
video system to lockdown capabilities and health-safety tools, cloud-based
access control strengthens the ability to monitor, track and
instill safety measurements to keep students, faculty, and staff safe.
When cloud-based access control systems are integrated with
cloud video surveillance, institutions can more easily and effectively
manage security. The ability to act quickly, even while operating
remotely, makes integrated access control and video management
systems effective and desirable for school districts and higher education
True cloud video surveillance companies like Eagle Eye Networks
have an open platform, which allows the school or university to
choose their access control provider. An Eagle Eye system can integrate
with Salto KS, Brivo, DMP Virtual Keypad or other leading
access control providers.
As an example, the Brivo Access system integrated with video
management systems connects access events – someone presenting a
credential at a door – with the live or recorded video feeds together
in one view, so the security director has lots of information to assess
the situation. Security staff can easily see if the user associated with
the credential is appropriate, and they can do this in real or near-real
time. Moreover, the security manager can do this from onsite or a
remote location. The combination allows school administrators to
secure every door at a given facility through one interface.
In the case of an emergency event, a lockdown can be initiated
from a desktop mobile app, which will immediately secure all doors
while notifying all administrators. Priority first responders, including
police, Firefighters, and paramedics, can be granted access permissions,
so they can perform their critical duties even when a lockdown
is active. To reduce confusion or risk after an event has concluded,
master and/or senior administrators are established to have full
authority over the system and can proceed with the all-clear steps to
get normal operations up and running again.
In a world where budget constraints are frequently encountered,
collaborating with a third party ACaaS provider like Brivo not only
provides a cost-saving solution, but also enhances your overall security
when combined with your cloud-based video monitoring solution.
This article originally appeared in the September / October 2021 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.