From the category archives: Emerging Technology
Questeq Team Members are constantly furthering their education to stay current with new technologies and trends. Two of our Directors of Technology have been busy this summer participating in wireless security camera training and certification programs.
Mike Lipnicky, Director of Technology at South Side Area School District, participated in an OnSSI Channel Partner Training that took place in August. Mike received a week of hands-on training in configuring and managing cameras, user accounts, video walls, events and video exporting. Over the summer South Side upgraded their whole campus with new IP-based security cameras managed with OnSSI. Read more about the OnSSI Training program - http://www.onssi.com/training/certification-training.
Cody Thull, Director of Technology at Cornell School District, received his Axis Certification in August. To become certified, Cody needed to become knowledgeable in the latest network video technologies, solutions, products and best-practice techniques. Cornell plans to upgrade their existing security camera system with several state of the art wireless cameras during the 2012-2013 school year. Read more about the Axis Certification program - http://www.axis.com/certification.
Our directors meet as a group throughout the school year to share issues, solutions and best practices. The knowledge gained by Cody and Mike this summer will be a valuable source of information as more of our school districts begin to upgrade their security camera systems.
This summer, several of our school district customers are implementing or upgrading their current security camera systems. The reasons for these projects vary, but the main goal is to ensure the safety of the staff and students during and after the school day. Security camera technology has come a long way from the limited storage available for archiving and the fuzzy images produced by the cameras.
Due to recent vandalism and theft one of our school district customers has asked us to design an exterior IP-based camera solution for their campus. Due to the large area needing coverage, the district is utilizing a new technology by FluidMesh. FluidMesh allows a camera to be placed up to 30 miles from a building as long as no obstructions exist. With these units no camera set up near the school will be out of range.
Another customer has requested that Questeq upgrade their security camera system to replace outdated and broken equipment. The image quality of their current system was not allowing them to properly discipline students after incidents occurred on campus. We completed an assessment of the building and made recommendations for the placement and layout of the new cameras. The district selected Axis cameras and OnSSI for the software to manage the cameras. Currently, 42 interior and exterior cameras exist around the campus. By the end of summer, a total of 82 interior and exterior cameras will be in place.
You can read more about Axis and OnSSI here: http://www.questeq.com/mainline/tabid/113/entryid/21/Questeq-is-now-an-OnSSI-Partner.aspx
These security system implementations will provide increased availability, security and peace of mind to the staff, students and administration of both campuses.
With the release of Microsoft Office 365 for Education this summer, we now have a platform that is perfectly suited for both Business and Educational sites. The primary advantage of Microsoft Office 365 over other products like Google Docs is the offering of online versions of Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps, Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, and Microsoft Lync 2010. Microsoft Sharepoint is a package that has, from its inception, been designed as a collaboration tool. These packages will allow a user to work on the same document on virtually any platform, from Smart Phone, to Tablet, to Macintosh, to PC, without ever needing to have Office installed on their system and while still keeping the fidelity of the document intact.
On the educational side, we can now offer every teacher and every student an e-mail account, online document storage, and video and audio conferencing for free with Exchange 2010 Online, Sharepoint 2010 Online, and Lync Online. We have also been looking at ways to replace paper, both at an administrative level, as well as at a teacher and student level. Microsoft Infopath can be used to build forms that can be used to replace teacher requisition forms, inventory tracking, and many other day to day uses of paper. Students can now use Microsoft Sharepoint to store their documents in the cloud, which gives them the freedom to work on their school work at home without the need for USB drives or notebooks, while still using the software they are used to with the online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Teachers can also have their own classroom site to communicate with their students as needed via surveys, forums, blogs, and wikis.
As part of our summer project schedules, we plan on implementing Microsoft Office 365 at Parkway West Career & Technology Center and at Beaver County Career & Technology Center. The BCCTC is in need of an e-mail server upgrade, and we have opted to move all faculty and students to Microsoft Office 365 to upgrade them as well as provide the students with the additional resources they need. At Parkway West, we are doing a hybrid install as we have local Microsoft Sharepoint and Exchange servers on site, however we want to provide the students cloud storage and e-mail accounts for their day to day needs.
This 8-minute video presents some of the advantages and limitations of BYOD (bring your own device) in education.