Technology and Bullying – DIS on Heart Radio Yorkshire
By Data Installations & Supplies ltd
In conversations about technology and bullying, the focus usually falls on cyberbullying. But what about technology and bullying in schools? With the invent of networked devices and analytics, schools now have the ability to use technology to stop bullying in its tracks before it becomes a problem.
Our Technical Director, Adam Foster, and valued customer Liam Crowther from Royd’s School joined Heart Radio Yorkshire for Anti-Bullying Week 2018 to discuss how technology can help fight bullying. Have a listen below:
We also caught up with Project Director Matthew Foster to hear what he had to say about technology and bullying:
“If we look at traditional security applications in schools and businesses, you’ll still see the majority using old technology from the analogue world. These applications, including CCTV, access control and perimeter detection are closed protocols. That means they offer few (if any) integrations or advances beyond what they say they do on the tin. For instance, CCTV is just CCTV – it captures images and you manually review images when you need.
However, over the years as the ‘digital’ era has developed, these applications haven’t been left in the dark. Quite the opposite, in fact. The traditional security industry has vastly changed. If you have the correct knowledge and skill set, you can now use your CCTV, access control and other ‘security’ measures to combat so much more than traditional security issues.
DIS has been working with this technology for many years now, which has led us to explore the ways in which smarter technology can aid safeguarding and combat bullying in schools.
Any CCTV that gets installed these days should be a digital, or “IP”, system. This means the system can talk to other IP devices such as door access control and more importantly contains new analytic software to open up new opportunities for detection.
For instance, we can supply analytic software that uses the camera to detect aggressive behaviour via audio detection. This is especially useful in sensitive areas such as school toilets. The camera can be placed outside the toilets in the corridor with an external mic placed in the ceiling of the toilets that only listens for aggressive tones and doesn’t record conversations or other noises. Once the aggressive tones are detected, any number of alerts can be triggered. These could be in the form of emails, texts, camera snapshots, or the camera’s feed popped up on a staff member’s PC in alert mode. Reports can also be generated from the analytic data if required. Trigger sounds can also be configured to include breaking glass and even gun shots!
All the cameras are HD in quality and cover vast areas so fewer cameras are needed to cover an area, thus saving schools in costs. Additional types of alerts can be set, such as if a camera picks up motion during user-defined times, i.e. during anti-social hours. These triggers can talk to other systems such as door access control, open doors, set alarms off, enact lockdown and more.
Analytics is really the key here. These pieces of software are loaded on to the camera and allow you to define your system exactly how you want it, fitting with your needs and building type. For example, if you have a secluded area in a playground that is a hotspot for bullying, you can create an analytic on the camera monitoring the area to send alerts when students enter. Or when students should be in class, you could use the analytic to pick up movement in corridors or outside school.
Traditional public address systems can join the IP world now and interact with cameras. A camera could pick up students in an area they should not be and a pre-defined message automatically played or visual image sent to a teacher. Trigger points can be set around the perimeter or other parts of the building to set off any of the alerts mentioned.
IP audio has also been proved to de-stress and calm students by playing certain music types at user-defined times, such as during lunch hours. Calmer students will perform better, and in turn be less likely to engage in bullying behaviour. We are currently working with Axis Communications and universities in the Leeds region to develop this research further.
To put it simply, all of the tech systems in schools should be talking to each other to stop bullying before it starts.”