Robert Sexton has worked with school-based tech for more than 15 years, so there’s not much he hasn’t seen. “Kids are pretty ingenious; keeping up with them is a challenge,” says Sexton, currently the director of technology for Olentangy Local School District, just north of Columbus, Ohio.
That challenge is mitigated by the district’s secret weapon—AristotleInsight::K12by Sergeant Laboratories, which tracks every digital move students make and alerts the district of potential problems.
A flexible plastic box printed from a school’s 3D printer could hold the answer to keeping first responders safe from exposed needles in the midst of an opioid epidemic that has affected communities nationwide.
Over the course of four months, a group of design/modeling students at Ashland Middle School in Kentucky created the needle retriever prototype, incorporating feedback from local police chiefs, health departments and other emergency personnel. Technology educators at Shawnee State University taught students about how the box could be mass produced.
This spring, schools have experienced a profound increase in student suicides and attempts, as well as school shootings. Recognize that as bad as things have been this spring, things are likely to be worse next fall. Contention over race, origin, LGBTQ, and sexual assault/harassment will increase, along with contention over gun control in the context of a focus on school shootings. Schools must be prepared to go into the 2018-19 school year.
Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools in Florida, has enacted new districtwide safety measures. Runcie will expand mental health services and training for students, and will provide an active-assailant training curriculum for staff.
Every school will also have a single point of entry and a resource officer or armed security guard, among other protections.
Up-to-date school floor plans and detailed images can be the difference between life and death when first responders are racing against time to find a shooting suspect or to rescue survivors after a natural disaster.