Personal safety is a daily priority across the entire education sector. To maximise the levels of protection and mitigate security and safety concerns, educational institutions have long used video surveillance systems to monitor and record activity in and around their premises.
At present, however, there are many schools, colleges and universities that have surveillance systems based on traditional analogue, on-premises CCTV technologies. While these systems have served many educational settings well over the years, as they get older, they often require costly maintenance. Cybersecurity updates and best practices must also be ongoing for internet-connected devices.
As educational environments evolve and grow, it’s not unusual for cameras to end up covering the wrong locations or for recorders to malfunction, reducing the effectiveness of the system as a whole.
Additionally, these surveillance systems are typically managed by a small group of core users, who can only access recordings manually on-site. This isn’t only inconvenient, it also requires security personnel to be on-site to collect, monitor or review the video. This is increasingly at odds with the demand for remote access to all the key services and pieces of technology infrastructure, including video from security cameras.
From passive CCTV to cloud-enabled analytics
The development and adoption of cloud-based video surveillance technologies has, however, brought the security camera systems available to the education sector firmly into the 21st century.
These technologies are delivered on an ‘as-a-service’ basis, with Video-Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS), which offer much more than just physical security. Like other subscription services used by schools and businesses, there is no need to make capital investments in expensive infrastructure, such as data storage hardware. With VSaaS, video data is retained by a secure third-party cloud provider, which offers value-add technologies, such as analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), that provides schools with important data that can help them be more efficient and improve operations.
As recent industry reports show, cloud video surveillance has many benefits for school administrators who want to improve their video surveillance system in an economical way. True cloud VMS do not require a school to buy a certain brand of security camera, they work with thousands of brands. True cloud video management systems (VMS) are able to incorporate existing analogue and IP cameras into a new high powered video surveillance system. Existing infrastructure and cabling can often be reused as well, saving considerable cost for budget-conscious schools.
True cloud VMS do not require a school to buy a certain brand of security camera, they work with thousands of brands
While the safety and security of students, staff and visitors is paramount, cloud-based video surveillance offers educational institutions much more than physical security. Smart surveillance can also provide insights into the daily life of a school or university that can help senior teams make informed decisions; for example, a video surveillance system can count the number of students and staff entering and exiting buildings, providing insight into traffic flow. Video analytics can be set to deliver real-time alerts to school security personnel if someone enters a restricted area of the grounds or buildings.
In contrast to legacy CCTV systems that largely rely on human intervention to monitor locations and check for potential incidents and risks, cloud-based solutions have opened up a range of automation and analytics options. These are designed to help security personnel do their jobs more effectively as they work to safeguard their premises, people and campuses.
Education institutions can learn from smarter cameras
In the educational context, there are many options for video analytics and (artificial intelligence) AI. For instance, people counting analytics monitor the number of students and staff entering and exiting buildings, giving valuable insight into peak times for traffic as well as traffic flow and patterns. To address concerns such as loitering, custom alerts can be set up to monitor for trespassers or loiterers after-hours in locations such as car parks, playgrounds or sports fields.
The technology can also keep an eye on vulnerable areas after-hours by setting parameters and tracking when a person or vehicle enters a predetermined area
The technology can also keep an eye on vulnerable areas after-hours by setting parameters and tracking when a person or vehicle enters a predetermined area. Similarly, educational establishments can use the technology to protect valuables such as sound equipment, trophies or important documents with real-time alerts when someone enters a restricted area. Users can also receive notifications when a camera is being blocked, covered or moved, enabling security personnel to respond in real-time.
Today’s advanced, affordable and versatile true cloud video surveillance systems help the educational leaders improve security, efficiency and streamline operations, benefitting all concerned. When there is confidence in the security and health of an educational environment, students and staff can focus wholly on learning.
You might also like: Will edtech use limit cyberbullying in schools?