As students return to their college campuses for another semester, many are noticing some technological upgrades to the places they call home. Here’s a list of new technology that some colleges are implementing this year.
Universities across the country are beginning to replace student ID cards that feature magnetic strips with ID cards that contain “smart capabilities.” The old student ID cards that higher education institutions are moving away from have been known to present some very serious security issues and vulnerabilities and are often the target of duplication and fraudulent card use. With the use of new technology, higher education institutions are now introducing smart cards to not only fix these issues, but to also provide the university and their students with a myriad of new features that these smart cards offer.
These new smart cards are able to improve access control to student-used buildings such as residence halls, educational buildings, unions, and physical activity buildings, and help prevent intrusion to technological records such as student health and financial records. This move to smart cards helps streamline many activities that would normally require multiple forms of access control. For example, many universities that move to a smart card are able to eliminate the necessity of physical keys and combine the many items that students and staff would need to carry, such as a photo ID, residence hall key, library card, or cafeteria pass, into one handy card.
RFID tracking devices and applications can be utilized in an almost open-ended amount of situations including tracking inventory, students, or even safety officers. Although the technology has been around for several years already, it is just now beginning to become a commonly used piece of tech in the world of higher education.
One the quickest growing uses of RFID tracking technology is Guard Tour, which is an RFID-based patrol system that helps safety and security departments streamline their officers’ routine while tracking an officer’s activities. Guard Tour tracks officers during their routine checks and keeps a log of when and where an officer was at all times. It also allows officers to quickly send any necessary reports (such as damaged equipment, suspicious activity, or potentially hazard situations) while on duty and performing routine checks. This ensures nothing is forgotten and that significant situations are taken care of in a timely manner.
With Guard Tour, safety and security departments are also able to capture and analyze data at any time. Through data collected via Guard Tour, safety and security departments are able to collect hard data on what incidents are occurring the most and where. This helps build trends that could be used for developing future safety plans.
Technology continues to advance and change the way students navigate their way through college. Mobile app developers have taken initiative to help students feel safe on campus by creating mobile apps that help report sexual assault, make it easier to intervene in hazardous situations, and provide a means to ensure their friends get home safely. One new app, Omnigo Community, allows students to discreetly and directly reach out to their campus safety departments. Whether they have questions, want to report suspicious activity, have a request for service, or need to report a crime anonymously, the app can do it all.
How can an app like Omnigo Community help improve campus safety on college campuses? Often times due to the stress of the situation, students do not know what to do when dangerous incidents occur. Providing students with an anonymous way to report incidents to campus safety helps reduce the stress involved with reporting serious incidents. The Omnigo Community app also has student guides built in to the app, which each university can customize with their own policies and procedures so students always have important documentation handy. To learn more about Omnigo Community and its capabilities, click here.