Managing a school is becoming an increasingly difficult task in today’s complex environment, and ensuring student safety on the school premises as well as during the commute has become one of the most pressing concerns, given the increasing incidences of crimes against children.
Today’s tough problems call for equally tough and intelligent technology solutions, and the new Beacon card-based student and school bus tracking system is proving to be just that.
What is Beacon Card Based Tracking?
Beacon Card based tracking is a breakthrough tracking technology that creates a virtual surveillance network via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Beacon ID Cards, IOT Gateways and Artificial Intelligence Cameras.
The BLE cards are used by students as their valid ID cards, while the IOT Gateways and AI Cameras are placed at strategic locations in the school premises as well as on the school bus.
The BLE cards are water proof, battery powered and completely safe for children with near zero radiation, transmitting a signal every 100-1000 milli seconds which can be easily detected by the IOT gateways from a distance of up to 200 meters.
Thus, the system is able to track every movement of the students and provide a complete picture of the students’ whereabouts and activities.
This new technology is significantly superior to existing technologies on a lot of attributes:
While GPS technology offers a reliable way to track school buses in real time, it cannot be relied upon to track students while they are in and around the school premises.
CCTV’s can provide an accurate account of what happened, but cannot help to pre-empt and correct a dangerous situation. Similarly, RFID card-based tracking systems are expensive to set up in multiple locations and require constant supervision.
BLE technology is faster, much more energy efficient and less expensive. It occupies less space and has higher data transmitting capacity. When integrated with mobility and cloud computing, it can enable real time communication via smart phone apps, push notifications, and useful analytics.
The Multifarious Benefits
Live Child Tracking
Right from the time students enter a school bus with their BLE ID cards, they are detected and identified by IOT gateways. Once on the school premises, the movement of the students to and from their classrooms and in every part of the school is tracked by the IOT gateways placed at various locations.
This real time location information can be easily accessed by parents, teachers and school authorities on their smart phone apps.
On the school campus, classrooms are a safe place for the students but there are many other areas where the child’s presence may be time bound or restricted, such as corridors, rest rooms, staff rooms, cafeteria etc.
School authorities can delineate such areas as restricted zones, and if the system detects an over stay, an instant alarm will alert the authorities that something is amiss.
Similarly, potentially hazardous areas such as electricity and generator rooms, swimming pools etc can be marked as danger zones, and if any student gets too near such places, an alert is triggered to the school authorities to take prompt action.
The BLE cards can be configured to also have a panic button. Anytime the child feels lost or in danger, or sees a suspicious person or object, they can immediately press the panic button which will instantly alert the security staff to come to their aid.
The IOT gateway installed in every classroom automatically marks the attendance of students as they enter their classrooms. Similarly, the system is able to detect their presence in various activity areas such as the sports ground, common hall, canteen etc.
This information can be compiled over a period of time, providing school authorities as well as parents the student’s behavioral analytics: where and how much time the child is devoting to each activity – alone, and in groups.
The school authorities can also update into the system the student’s progress and performance reports across various subjects and activities. Combined with behavioral analytics, this offers an insight into the child’s interests and aptitude in studies as well as various extra-curricular activities.
Seamless Communication via Customized Apps
The BLE Beacon Card technology is extended to smart phone apps specifically designed for parents, teachers, school management, transport management as well as drivers serve to keep all stakeholders in the loop.
E.g., when a child enters the school bus, the IOT gateway detects it and instant notifications are sent to the driver, transport manager as well as teacher and parent.
These apps also serve as a means of communication between stakeholders. Hence circulars, progress and performance reports, school curriculum, time table and even homework can be updated by teachers which can be accessed by parents at a swipe of their fingers.
Similarly, parents can communicate with class teachers, school management, and drivers, and submit applications for leave, self-pick-up, or for changing the pick up location etc.
Live School Bus Tracking
The IOT gateways installed in school buses enable the transport and school authorities to track the school buses in real time, and alert the authorities in case of a route deviation or unsafe driving behavior.
Parents also get accurate expected time of arrival (ETA) on their app, so that they can reach the bus stand in time for pick up or drop. In case a child gets left behind in a bus, alights at the wrong stop or enters a wrong bus, the system automatically alerts all concerned.
Parents no longer need to worry about giving too much cash to their children. They can simply load money on to the Beacon cards through their apps, and the child can use it in the canteen or the store for stationery and supplies.
Unauthorized access inside the school premises has always been a pain point for schools and a source of anxiety to parents. But now, every outsider who needs to enter the premises is made to carry a BLE card, making it easy to closely monitor the entry and movement of unauthorized people.
Just like the students, the staff members can also be tracked via BLE Cards. The system can then serve as an efficient tool to track staff attendance, punctuality and time spent in various locations across the school premises.
Given the benefits that it offers, the BLE Beacon card-based tracking system can truly serve as an able right hand for school management, offering a near fool proof level of safety and security, which is unprecedented in today’s times, along with the added benefits of seamless communication and analytics.
All of this at very competitive prices. In this advanced digital age, what more can schools and parents ask for?