Unfortunately, the school environment is not the same as it was decades ago. We are now forced to scrutinize building and technological security to ensure our children are as safe as possible from threats like school shootings, malicious hackers and online predators.
While it is paramount to protect our children, it is also extremely important to reassure them and protect them from adult issues that will cause undue stress. Because guaranteeing school safety is increasingly more difficult, tech expert Scott Schober has some important points to keep in mind.
Even though parents may feel they have no control over their children’s safety once they leave home, he says, technical advances applied with old-fashioned common sense are one way to feel more prepared.
Schober, CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, recently shared safety tips from the National Crime Prevention Council on his blog. Staying in touch with your child while he or she is at school is something every parent should consider carefully, he says. “This isn’t as simple as sending them off with an iPhone,” Schober cautions. Parents should make sure the devices are used in compliance with school regulations and also understand the advantages and disadvantages of GPS tracking capabilities.
To help teachers take back control of the classroom, Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) has developed an affordable tool called the PocketHound cell phone detector. This device is small enough to fit in a teacher’s pocket so that they can covertly monitor for cheaters as they navigate up and down the aisle during exam time or while sitting at their desk. The PocketHound will vibrate when there is a transmission from a mobile phone in close proximity alerting the teacher to move in on the culprit. In addition, the bright blue LED’s provide a visual alert to the teacher as they approach the unsuspecting cheater. The PocketHound has an integrated multiband antenna that is hidden under the label allowing for true stealth approaches. There is an internal rechargeable Li-ION battery that has run time of up to 2 hours. The PocketHound is simple to use with the single integrated jog slider control switch. The receiver continually scans all cell phone bands and utilizes a sophisticated algorithm that constantly samples the Radio Frequency (RF) noise floor to distinguish real cellular activity vs. ambient RF noise.
The PocketHound sells for under $500 and is an effective deterrent and enforcer to keep cheating students in their place.
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Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) offers several different technologies to help schools and parents ensure compliance and increase school safety. The Wolfhound Pro with a direction-finding antenna helps many parents find peace of mind; the handheld device allows them and/or law enforcement officers to track a GPS device attached to a child’s clothing or backpack. BVS also sells the most effective handheld metal detectors on the market; Garrett Metal Detectors allow school security officers to confiscate contraband guns, knives and phones.
Under development at BVS is the MantaRay mobile phone detector which will allow security personnel to scan a child without having to physically touch the child or their backpack when searching for a mobile phone. To cut down on distracted driving, BVS also makes the TransitHound, which monitors and discourages use of cell phones and distracted driving.
Scott Schober and his technological innovations were recently featured on the CNBC documentary “Faking the Grade,” for the PocketHound cell phone detector used for catching students cheating on exams using their mobile phone.
Scott N. Schober is the President and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, a 39-year-old provider of advanced wireless solutions for the telecommunications and security markets.