School CIO – Gary Shattuck

What are your big-picture tech goals for your district?
To provide students with a rigorous, relevant, personalized, learning environment in which they are afforded the opportunity to learn and to
demonstrate learning by producing, by performing, by creating, and by communicating to a global audience. In order for that to occur technology
must be ubiquitous in the school system. We are well on our way to accomplishing that goal. To be more specific, my goals are:

  • To create a very robust technology infrastructure that provides teachers and students with the online resources and the local instructional
    resources they need to have a digitally enriched learning environment
  • To create a 1:1 environment through a variety of methods
  • To provide a technology support system to respond quickly to problems, and to provide an instructional support system that leverages technology
    to deliver meaningful and purposeful lessons
  • To protect all the data that we currently store in an environmentally protected area, and to provide a disaster recovery and business continuity
  • To allow some cloud services to take the pressure off current resources
  • To provide teachers with the daily opportunity to video/audio record their classes in order to facilitate: better student engagement, quality self assessment,
    and instructionally advanced pedagogies such as flipping the classroom, and to provide for a safe classroom environment that is conducive to learning.

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School Planning and Management – Technology Planning & Management Newton County 7-8-2013

Since the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., school safety has been receiving more attention. Many states are even providing additional funds for schools to increase security. Unfortunately, typical security measures like metal detectors, police presence and surveillance cameras can often have the unintentional effect of making school feel like a prison. So, some schools now use advanced technology to improve safety without threatening students.

…Much of the technology used in schools today is multi-faceted…Audio Enhancement, a media technology company, created the system in Newton County that has three components – audio, video and security. Three years ago, the district installed the audio portion, which amplified sound in the classroom. Each teacher wears a microphone and can be heard from anywhere in the room. Surveys and other data have shown that students were more focused and teachers didn’t need to strain to be heard. Last spring, the district started a pilot program for the video component of the system, allowing teachers to record their classes.

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Miami-Dade School Board offers glimpse at high-tech future – 04_08_2013

Not a textbook or dry-erase board in sight, freshman agri-science teacher Surey Rios floated around pods of students at TERRA Environmental Research Institute on Monday, guiding them in a lesson on energy as a crowd watched.

Jessica Bustillos created an interactive poster on her tablet depicting how energy is both used and wasted at her Kendall high school. Joshua Garcia projected the costs and benefits of renewable energy onto a Smart Board 800. Around them, classmates used their fingers to operate a Smart Table, iPads to view a video on creating potable water, and a Steelcase media:scape to share thoughts on managing India’s growth.

In Miami-Dade, call this class of interactive technology and new-school teaching methods the class of the (near) future.

“I keep calling it the classroom of the future,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told a crowd of onlookers. “But really it’s the classroom of now.”

Today, that is true for some Miami-Dade classrooms, though not most. But that’s going to change now that the district has some $100 million to spend on technology as part of a $1.2 billion voter-approved project to renovate, rebuild, and upgrade school campuses.

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Southern Nevada schools try out high-tech safety system


LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) — Imagine being able to keep an eye on classrooms from a distance.

It’s already happening in southern Nevada. But will classroom cameras make schools safer?

A high-tech safety system that costs about as much as a computer alerts authorities as soon as an emergency happens. It was first brought to the Las Vegas valley because of a unique need.

The Nye County School District is more than 18,000 square miles, and campuses are hours away apart.

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton has to cover an area of more than 18,000 square miles. What used to mean a great deal of travel moved into the digital age in 2011.

With the Audio Enhancement Safe System – which involves video, audio and security -– officials can go online and check into the classroom to make sure thing everything is OK in real time. Or in the case of an emergency, make the call for help.

In Nye County, there is no school Police Department. Some schools, such as Duckwater, are not around other buildings.

“That little school sits on a highway that’s traveled by who knows who,” Norton said, “and we have a teacher and an aide, and the next location is a mile and half down the road.”

Currently, this alert system is only available at one Clark County school: Schofield Middle School. It started using it in September.

The difference in Clark County is that Principal A.J. Adams and Clark County School District Police receive the alert at the same time, and everyone understands that the alert means the ultimate threat.

“This is not a system to activate if there’s a shoving match, a management issue,” Adams said. “This is if there’s an active shooter or someone on campus.”

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Classroom Security via VIEWPath – December 12, 2012

When we first met Jeff Anderson years ago, we were extremely impressed by the instructional value of the microphone his company, Audio Enhancement, designed for teachers to help enhance their speech in a classroom. But when he showed us the silent panic button functionality included on the teardrop lanyard mic, our jaws dropped.

A teacher in a classroom who sees or feels a safety threat can easily and silently register a distress call to the school’s main office or security personnel while simultaneously transmitting and recording live video from digital cameras installed in the classroom. We are very proud that Audio Enhancement’s VIEWPath system runs on SAFARI Montage (Pathways SM, Selective Video Streaming and CreationStation). VIEWPath was featured yesterday on CNN’s Headline News in a Georgia High School.
-Andrew Schlessinger
CEO & Co-founder, SAFARI Montage



SAFE System Highlighted on KSL


Tom Dobson, Senior Vice President of Audio Enhancement, was interviewed by Scott and Maria on KSL Newsradio about the SAFE System. To listen to the audio clip,download it here.

SAFE System featured on FOX13

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The SAFE System was featured on FOX13 on January 20, 2013. To read the article associated with the video, visit the FOX13 news page.

Michael Dorn Presents the SAFE System on HLN

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Senator Howard Stevenson of Utah interviews Jeff Anderson, CEO of Audio Enhancement

Representative Greg Hughes and Senator Howard Stevenson of Utah recently interviewed Jeff Anderson about the SAFE System on the radio show Red Meat Radio. To hear the interview in full, click the link below.

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Cameras, Panic Buttons & Guns: The Future of School Security

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The tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary will stand as one of those before-and-after days in America — things will never be the same at schools across Connecticut and beyond. “This was like our 9/11 for school teachers,” Richard Cantlupe, an American history teacher at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Fla., told the Associated Press. Officials across the country are taking measures to make students and parents feel as safe as possible. From Los Angeles to Newtown, school districts heightened security this week — placing police officers outside schools and reviewing security procedures.
“I think it’s important that at this particular time we’re able to get everybody [to] feel good about schools, that they can feel safe at schools,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who said After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, schools across the country will reconsider their
options every K-8 school in the city would be visited by a police officer each day. “That’s my job and we’ll make sure that it happens.”
But some schools are also looking at long-term solutions to beef up security — drastic changes that would revamp school security as we know it, much like airport security was revamped after 9/11.
Sandy Hook could make getting into a public school far more difficult.
Mike Dorn of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit campus safety center, has been working in school safety for three decades. He sees controlling access as the chief way in which schools can ensure their students’ safety. Now he thinks administrators will be able to implement changes that would have been impossible a week ago.
“There are many school superintendents and principals who last week wanted to put better access control in their schools, that have been told they can’t, because the community would be in an uproar,” said Dorn, who thinks such initiatives will now encounter far less resistance, Dorn is a proponent of a high-tech system called Security Alert for Education (SAFE). With this system, teachers wear a pendant that amplifies their voice during lectures — but also has a panic button button that allows them to immediately alert 911 during an emergency.
Cameras mounted in classrooms are integrated into the system, as well. Scot Trower, superintendent of the Ryal School in Ryal, Okla., “out in the middle of nowhere,” had the SAFE System installed in 2010. An encounter a decade ago with a man with a gun in his back pocket demanding to pick up a student played into Trower’s decision to implement SAFE.

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Gregory Thomas Interviewed on BAM Radio

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Dan Domenech recently discussed security in schools on BAM radio with Gregory Thomas, Michael Dorn, Gary Matthews, and Dr. Rob in light of the Sandy Hook incident. They debate serious issues such as what technology can be used to keep students safe and whether or not teachers should be armed.

bam radio interview heads

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CNN Features the SAFE System – 12-20-2012

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Gregory Thomas Interviewed on MSNBC

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School Increases Scores, Earns Grant

RYAL SCHOOL IN RURAL Oklahoma is unique. Serving grades pre-K through 8, its population is almost 90 percent Native American and 100 percent of their students qualify for free and reduced lunches. With this comes certain distinct challenges, but they also face the same hurdle that every school faces: increasing test scores. In 2010, Ryal was outfitted with Audio Enhancement systems in every classroom, allowing the students to hear their teachers more clearly. They continue to experience the benefits of sound enhancement today, including reduced teacher vocal fatigue and absenteeism. The Audio Enhancement component was a crucial part of the strategy to increase student performance.
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School Emergency Defused by Teacher’s Quick Thinking

On a quiet Tuesday afternoon in Nye County School District, a student’s behavior escalated out of control. He became angry and destructive, tearing down posters, throwing books and upsetting the other students in the classroom. When the substitute teacher was unable to gain control of the child, she realized she needed help. Luckily, the teacher had been equipped with the SAFE System. At the push of a button, the administrative office was notified with a visual and audible alert of the situation and the ceiling-mounted camera began recording the incident. Proper authorities were also notified. Three staff members and a security officer arrived in the classroom within thirty seconds of the alert. They removed the child from the classroom and were able to calm him down as he was escorted to the administrative office. The child’s parents were notified of the incident and, upon arrival to the school, were able to watch the recording and verify exactly what occurred in their child’s classroom. They were supportive of the disciplinary action taken due to their child’s out of control behavior. When the police arrived, the administrators provided video access on their iPads so they were able to view the entire incident.

Nye County Schools Install Cameras in Classrooms – March 20, 2012

When it comes to safety and student academic achievement, school security professionals and administrators can sometimes be at odds. The former can be too focused on security and emergency management while the latter can be too focused on their institution’s educational mission. Although both groups of individuals genuinely believe they are looking out for the best interests of the children in their charge, disagreements often arise, especially when limited resources are at stake.  Fortunately, Nye County (Nev.) schools have discovered a way to improve student engagement in class while also increasing campus safety and security. It’s a solution that combines an audio system that amplifies a teacher’s voice, along with a panic alarm system and security cameras.

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Products Worth Checking Out – September 29, 2011

The latest in hardware, software, books & materials, facilities and the Internet.
According to a study on the 2011 Vision K-20 Initiative, the U.S. is not making progress toward educational technology benchmarks, particularly helping schools
meet students’ individual needs and providing authentic assessment tools. Source: Software and Information Industry Association
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Panasonic Presents Safety Technology For the Classroom – June 28, 2011

Bill Taylor, President of Panasonic System Networks Company, discusses a new silent-alert security feature for their A+ Classroom Audio System.

ESD: What product is Panasonic spotlighting at ISTE?
BT: Panasonic recently launched an ultra-innovative classroom security system that uses equipment already in the classroom. Our A+ Classroom Audio System is already known to improve student hearing and performance and decrease teacher voice fatigue and sick days, but now there is a new silent-alert capability in the equipment focused on safety in the classroom. In the event of an emergency, the teacher presses a button on his/her pendant microphone worn with a lanyard, and a signal is automatically sent to designated security officials.
In addition, the response team can view what’s happening in the classroom through the classroom’s network camera and even bring up audio from the teacher’s microphone.

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School safety presentation focuses on technology – June 24, 2011

The horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001 are not as fresh in people’s minds as they used to be, but on Tuesday, someone who was there that day described the scenario to a group of local people. Gregory Thomas, former executive director of school safety for the New York City School District, spoke about what the teachers there did to save students on day when the city was in chaos and literally blowing up around them. Thomas was guest speaker at a Safe Schools presentation Tuesday at Creative Image Technologies on Breighton Circle, when he endorsed the company’s newest version of the Panasonic Audio Enhancement System.

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Best in Tech: Piloting New Technology

Reviewer: Kim Bearden, executive director and language arts teacher, Ron Clark
Academy, Atlanta, GA
Products We Use: Security Alert for Education (SAFE) System

How We Use Them: We installed safe and an audio system into every classroom. Every teacher wears a discreet microphone with a function button on it. When that button is pushed, a silent signal is sent to the monitoring station in the administration office alerting the staff of an emergency. Additionally, the network camera can be used throughout the school day to record teacher lessons and student performances, and even for teacher evaluations.

Goals: We wanted to keep our students and teachers safe, and provide our staff with assistance in getting an appropriate response to any emergency.

Response: We’ve had a great response from the entire community. Parents feel safer knowing the school has a classroom security system in place to help with medical and custody-related emergencies, or instances of violence. And teachers like that the response time to any emergency situation is faster and appropriate to the situation.

Learning Curve: Once the audio system is in place, it takes only a few minutes for teachers to be trained. The safe system is “plug and play.”

What’s Ahead: There will be new software called ViewPath, powered by Safari Montage, that will allow emergency situations to be recorded and saved onto a Safari server.
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