New system combines classroom audio, emergency alert

“It’s extremely important for students to learn and for several other things to occur in a classroom, and safety is one of those,” he said. “This system, I think, [adds the ability] to see what’s occurring in the classroom and respond immediately to problems that would threaten safety. It would be very beneficial.”

Most U.S. schools are safe places, Fortenberry was careful to point out–“but there do arise occasions where that’s not the case.”

Beyond safety, there also is a need to see what is occurring in classrooms and capture that for various reasons, Fortenberry said–primarily for staff development purposes. And the Safe System can aid in that pursuit.

“Teachers need a lot of help, and one form of help is from people who can observe what’s occurring, can help teachers improve professional practice, and [can] see which students are and aren’t engaged, because one significant aspect of student learning is keeping students engaged,” he said.

In addition, the system could be used as a lecture-capture system; schools could post the audio and video from a classroom session online to help students who were absent from class or who want a chance for further review, Fortenberry said.

The Safe System is being marketed to both K-12 and higher-education institutions–and there might be an even greater need for it in higher education, Anderson said.

Professors who keep students in locked classrooms during reports of a campus shooter, for example, would have an immediate way to contact university officials without having to worry about cell-phone reception and other obstacles.


Audio Enhancement

Panasonic Education

Laura Ascione

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