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Chicomm Blog

To enhance and ensure school safety, educators across the country are using a combination of policy and security technology to protect students, staff and visitors alike, according to a national survey.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has data for the 2013-2014 school year on what measures public schools had put in place to improve safety. For each measure, an overall percentage is available, as well as breakdowns by primary schools, middle schools or combined primary and secondary schools.

According to the NCES, here are eight things educators are doing to improve school safety.  

Tags: Education

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Several studies looking at technology in education have produced some troubling results, according to a recent news article, suggesting that access to computers and online coursework aren’t necessarily effective at helping students learn – not yet anyway.

The three studies were wide-ranging and covered K-12 and higher education, as well as blended learning and online, in the United States and abroad. Let’s take a closer look at the findings.

Tags: Education

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The research is clear: School safety is not just a security issue, it’s an academic one. Students learn better and have better academic achievement when they’re confident in school safety and feel safe on school property.

Here we’ll take a closer look at one survey on the issue and review some options for technology – and financial assistance –  that schools have for making their campuses more safe. 

Tags: MOTOTRBO, Grant Funding, Education, Digital Two-Way Radios

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Educators are increasingly using technology in schools in innovative ways to ensure that they’re nurturing the next generation of innovative students. From danger-based learning to recreation center takeovers, we’ve gathered some exciting examples of high-tech education.

When it comes to technology in schools, here are seven examples of extreme innovation:

Transforming Recreation Centers into Tech Hubs

The City of Pittsburgh recently ran a “Rec2Tech” demonstration project that turned five municipal recreation centers into interactive learning spaces focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  

During the free after-school program, about 200 youth aged 7-12 got hands-on experience with digital media production, computer programming, sustainable approaches to urban gardening, video game design and 360-degree imaging technology.

Tags: Education

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As campus security concerns have changed over time across the country, so, too, has the response from education safety officials, including an increased reliance on school resource officers and police. As the number of officers in schools continues to rise, experts on both sides of the issue are still debating whether the increased police presence is improving campus security.

For now, there’s a lack of strong data one way or the other, and most people in the education safety industry will admit that they just don’t know for sure. What they do know is that the number of officers is up: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the share of schools with a school resource officer increased from 1 percent in 1975 to 40 percent in 2007. As of 2014, there were 31,000 school resource officers employed in public schools nationwide.

More research is under way about the effectiveness of having resource officers and police on campuses. Proponents say the officers protect students, act as mentors, parental figures and psychologists, and improve community relations with police.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, MOTOTRBO, Grant Funding, Education

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In finding the perfect school WiFi and radio solution, schools face many challenges, including funding -- a situation that’s at the heart of the federal E-Rate program to make telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries.

E-Rate, the government’s largest educational technology program, was first mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1997. Starting in 2014, the FCC launched two major modernization efforts to reallocate funding where it’s needed most to close the WiFi gap, particularly low-income rural and urban schools and libraries. The modernization also shifted money away from voice, paging and non-broadband legacy systems. 

Tags: Education, Wireless Networking

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We all know that video surveillance solutions are among the most effective security strategies for education and health care, but as systems age, it can be a challenge to cost effectively upgrade and prepare for the future, especially if you need to keep legacy systems up and running.

As security needs and technology change, many educational and health care institutions are finding it necessary to either replace their fleets of aging cameras or upgrade their functionality. Many are choosing Axis network products because their capabilities, flexibility and reliability match the needs of the  education and  health care sectors. Here are some of the useful features offered with Axis products:

Tags: Technology, Education, Healthcare, Video Surveillance

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Kristina Anderson, co-founder of the mobile school safety app LiveSafe, has said that if her company had existed in 2007, it probably would have changed the course of her life. coll

Anderson was a 19-year-old sophomore when a gunman opened fire at Virginia Tech. She had no idea that shots had been fired at another building on campus, and she was struck three times while entering a French class. She has since become a vocal advocate for campus safety and violence prevention, and her innovative company “was born from a spirit of triumph over tragedy and the desire to make the world a safer place.”

LiveSafe and other apps like it are providing a boost to school safety efforts nationwide by leveraging the power of everyday mobile devices. Students, parents, staff and campus safety officials can communicate instantly and anonymously with the touch of a button or transmission of a text.

Here are 4 of the mobile apps that are changing the school safety landscape:

Tags: Education

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When it comes to school safety grants, funders are looking for well-defined plans with best-practice-based solutions. While each school and district is unique, there are some universal tools and technologies that can benefit most situations and set your grant application apart.

Asking for the right technology demonstrates both that you’ve done your homework and that you’re committed to finding innovative ways to use your funding efficiently.

Here are 5 proven technologies sure to bolster your school safety grant application:

Tags: Grant Funding, Education

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How to Earn School Safety Grants

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Thursday, January 21, 2016

School and student safety has perhaps never been under more public scrutiny. School administrators and parents want to do everything in their power to ensure safety in the face of tragic events like school shootings and natural disasters.

Fortunately, technology exists to help protect schools and their students, faculty, and staff. But school districts have limited budgets and are often at a loss when it come to accessing that technology. The good news is that there are options and resources in place to help schools get the equipment and services that they need. One of the most common ways to do so is through school safety grants.

School safety grants are awarded to schools (or school districts) to help offset, or even cover, the cost of purchasing emergency communications equipment. Devices like digital two-way radios are valuable pieces to the school safety puzzle, and grants like these help put them in the hands of those who need them most.

Whether you're applying for your first school safety grant, have received one in the past, or have been denied a grant and want to increase your chances of success this time, here are three things to consider when applying:

Tags: Education

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