SCHOOL ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS
September 14, 2015
There is nothing more important than the safety of our students and teachers within the confines of our schools – and there is no better way of ensuring this safety than a well integrated access control system that keeps campuses protected from outside threats. There is a fine balance between maintaining a welcoming learning environment for our children, and implementing sound security solutions that keep them in constant safeguard, but we are here to help guide you through a few notable trends in the realm of access control that will help guarantee both.
Many school districts are thinking past your standard physical access control architectures, and looking to adopt well-integrated interoperable security measures that rely on the influx of innovative new products and technology. Interoperability is the ability of different technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and disseminate information that will help guide better security planning and decision-making. These leaps in new technology will help retrofit old buildings stuck with proprietary and obsolete products, and ensure that crisis situations can be managed instantly through one interconnected system.
Gone are the days of physical access control measures like student keys or one-time password solutions which are both costly and time consuming to maintain. New automated access technology like magnetic-stripe proximity cards, or ”smart” cards, will allow students to seamlessly move through the building by scanning their cards which verifies their identity – but these cards could be used for more than just security. Smart cards could also be programmed to facilitate book checkouts, lunch purchases, and access to school equipment for an easy user experience that can be adapted to address a number of campus needs.
Near Field Communications (NFC)
The growth of near field communication is an exciting prospect in the growing demand for more flexible school security. NFC could enable students and faculty to use their smartphones to gain access to school facilities by scanning or tapping in through their mobile devices. While this system has obvious benefits to the physical security of our schools, it could also be used to access wireless networks, web-based applications, and other IT programs to help protect our students’ digital identity. What’s particularly great about these mobile security solutions is that it successfully strikes that balance between implementing stringent safety measures, and maintaining an open and adaptable learning environment for our students.
The advancements in technology will make a huge difference in the protection of our students and faculty in schools, however security is only as good as the weakest link – which is often the untrained and unprepared individuals who manage these systems. Schools are realizing that well-trained students and teachers are what make the biggest difference when effectively operating security systems. This includes knowing how to properly manage the equipment being used in the schools, and never making exceptions when it comes to established safety protocols in the name of convenience. Administrators are putting more and more emphasis in making sure that the student population, as well as the staff and faculty, are well-equipped to carry out security measures if a crisis situation is eminent, which will help ensure that the technology and integrated systems are being used to their full capacity.