As classes begin Monday, teachers in the Lovejoy school district will be wearing new technology around their necks that can immediately notify school resource officers of an emergency or threat on campus.
The MadeSafe devices were developed by Richardson-based Enseo initially for employees in the hotel industry, but have been adapted for use in schools. Lovejoy ISD’s more than 600 employees are the first educators to use the technology at its campuses, located in Fairview and Lucas.
“They were very aggressive in terms of wanting to lead the state in security.”
“From the time they said, ‘We want this now,’ it was less than five weeks before school started,” said Vanessa Ogle, founder and CEO of Enseo as well as LISD parent. “They were very aggressive in terms of wanting to lead the state in security. This installation would not be possible without the educational leadership of Lovejoy ISD and the law enforcement excellence of the town of Fairview police department.”
Enseo made a name itself inventing technology for the hotel industry, including the ability to launch Netflix and other streaming apps in hotel rooms. In 2014, Enseo shifted its focus to giving hotel employees MadeSafe notification devices and outfitting hotels with the beacon technology so they could report emergencies. The company has added 100 employees since 2014 and revenues have grown from $16 million to $60 million, Ogle said.
PANIC BUTTONS CONNECT WITH IOT DEVICES TO COMMUNICATE EMERGENCIES
Use of the MadeSafe button in Lovejoy ISD will be for any emergency that requires adult assistance including medical emergencies, fights, and school shootings. The wearables contain personal locator devices that communicate with Enseo’s Internet of Things devices.
The beacons use a trilateration algorithm to find the teacher’s exact location down to the classroom so they can respond quickly. The teacher’s location will continue to be tracked if they move around the campus.
School districts across the country are taking extra steps to increase safety after a rash of school shootings in recent years. Lovejoy ISD already has resource officers on every campus, but Ogle said the district wanted to make the notification part easier so teachers aren’t scrambling for a phone to call or to send a message in a crisis.
“The MadeSafe product was exactly what we were looking for in a technology to meet our objectives of leading not only in education, but in security and wellbeing as well.”
“The well-being of our students and staff is top of mind for Lovejoy ISD,” Lovejoy ISD Superintendent Ted Moore said. “The MadeSafe product was exactly what we were looking for in a technology to meet our objectives of leading not only in education, but in security and wellbeing as well.”
Next year, Enseo could expand its services so that whenever a MadeSafe button is pushed, the school resource officer can immediately tap into the video survillance cameras in that vicinity. That way, the resource officer can provide the appropriate response, such as calling for paramedics or additional police resources.
Ogle said she’s hopeful other school districts will utilize the technology. The IoT beacons, cloud computing, and networking are high-tech, but Enseo keeps the cost down by using the existing coaxil cables that most school districts already have. That means schools don’t have to pay to install more expensive fiber optic lines. As a side benefit, the result is a better wireless network at the school.
“This allows the schools to take money that would have been used to change cables and spend it on something else,” Ogle said.