Public Safety in K-12 and the Wi-Fi Network
It’s no surprise that student safety is the upmost priority to educators, administration, and parents. I would know because I have two daughters in K-12. The topic of safety in K-12 schools strikes particularly close to home since one of my daughters has already been in a lockdown due to police activity in the area. A lockdown is where children are placed in the corners of the classrooms, away from windows and clear from the classroom door windows: lights off, doors locked, and no chatter. My daughter took it in stride since she thought it was a game. I, on the other hand, was extremely uneasy when I received the email bearing the news and was not relieved until I received the “clear” email notification.
Given some of the latest developments that Cisco has been working on with location-based analytics using wireless technologies, it didn’t take long for us to start talking about how Wi-Fi could be used to help in the case of public safety in K-12 schools. The intersection of K-12 public safety and Wi-Fi technologies stirred up such a discussion amongst ourselves that we wanted to open up the discussion with an external webinar. I hope you can join me for the discussion on May 22nd (Click to register), but just in case you need some convincing, here’s a teaser.
Wi-Fi is an excellent infrastructure for real-time location tracking in schools because of the explosion of mobile devices and the increased number of access points required to meet bandwidth requirements of 1:N laptop and BYOD initiatives. In the United States, mobile devices are ubiquitous and many of them are smartphones. These smartphones have Wi-Fi capability and for most us, we leave it enabled for convenience. Having designed and installed wireless solutions, I know that Wi-Fi enabled devices send out probe requests looking to connect to WiFi networks & with this information, a wireless network is able to provide real-time location of devices—even if they’re not connected— and over a period of time can provide insights into paths taken by devices or individuals carrying these devices. This data can be critical to first responders when seconds count.
These are the types of solutions we are exploring at Cisco. The ability to take an existing wireless network and provide a solution to an issue that is on the minds of many K-12 educators. Our last in our 3-part K-12 BYOD Series, Leveraging Wireless for Public Safety in K-12 will be held on May 22, 2013 at 10:00 -11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
In addition, if you missed our previous K-12 Webinars, you can view on demand in our Community: