Emerging Access Control Trends in Schools for Educational Facility Managers

Posted on: 12 March 2018

Ever since the last school shooting in Australia, the country has recorded zero incidences of the same. Educational Facility Managers (EFMs) should, however, not let their guard down because one does not know what will happen next. Additionally, safety in schools does not stop at the student level, and as such, all school equipment and facilities must be kept safe. With the advanced digitization of the education system, access control strategies in educational facilities have changed over the years. Such change has been driven by the need to be proactive to security incidences in schools rather than reactive. EFMs must, therefore, keep abreast current trends concerning access control. This article provides information in this regard.

Proximity Technology -- Traditionally, schools have issued students with hall passes to allow them access to various sections of the facility, especially during school opening-days when there is a lot of foot traffic. During such times, it is virtually impossible to trace students thereby forcing facility managers to employ additional access control measures. As such, some schools are opting for proximity technology on all entrances. The system works by tracking a student's location based on where each pupil is required to be at any particular moment. If a student is not at their expected location at any given time, an alert is issued immediately so that the student's whereabouts to be determined.

Networked Systems -- Presently, access control systems in most schools are stand-alone. It means that the device is not integrated with other systems. As technology becomes pervasive in schools, so does the need to merge all operations into a single network. For instance, educational facility managers and their security counterparts should be able to login into an access control system and access data on class attendance or visitors' log. Armed with such centralized data, it is possible to act proactively rather than reactively when handling security issues in an educational institution.

Pre-configured Appliances -- Education institutions are always busy, which makes it difficult to completely overhaul access control systems and replace them with updated versions. Modern access control gadgets are preconfigured, which makes it easy for EFMs to conduct installation as well as customization without disrupting learning. For instance, access control systems with onboard capabilities allow EFMs and security personnel to connect to an access control device by launching a shortcut on their personal computers. As a consequence, the installation time and costs are significantly reduced while security and safety are heightened.

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