There are so many different technology options for school facilities these days, both in relation to hardware and software. However, there are also concerns that technology may be dominating too much of the school and classroom environment. How can you tell what software and/or hardware packages are best for you and your school facility? Say for instance your school wants to improve security measures in reference to visitors and volunteers; how would you go about deciding what service is the right fit? To answer that question, there are some details and beneficial features that would be ideal to help your school and office staff with daily responsibilities.
A top concern to look into would be how the data gets managed and handled after it is collected. If a service does not provide a disclaimer accrediting all ownership of the collected data to the school itself, it may be leaving a door open to potentially selling that data to third party companies. This allows the visitor and volunteer company to benefit from the sale of personal data collected during the check-in process. While most services only collect data that would otherwise be publicly available, it is still a violation of trust to sell data that should only be available to the school and their associated district. Personal data can be a powerful asset and should be protected against these types of actions.
Schools would also benefit from having a one-stop-shop for all their visitor and volunteer needs. A company that offers a service for visitor and volunteer screening as well as an application for emergency management would allow the two pieces of software to seamlessly communicate back and forth to offer a well rounded software package to your school facility. An added benefit would be that there would only need to be communication with one vendor for two pieces of software. This would help reduce an already robust vendor contact list for any potential questions or concerns.
Another important aspect to consider would be how the software helps to eliminate false positives. What is meant by false positives? These can be potential matches to databases that each visitor is screened against. Nothing interrupts a school day quite like a panic situation that was triggered by a false match related to a visitor. A service should provide a way to reduce these false positives to help eliminate wasted time and unnecessary stress on office staff to make manual comparisons to potential threats.
Last but not least, look into their customer service aspects. If a service is not willing to support you, it may not be a healthy vendor relationship to continue. Software packages should help ease the daily responsibilities of schools, not add more stress or become a burden to use an/or implement. Contact the service provider to gain first hand experience with how the software will be implemented and used at your school before making your final decision. How responsive is the service provider and how do they plan on supporting your school going forward? Are they willing to add additional features to help better support your school?
Visitor Aware provides visitor and volunteer and emergency management services that will never sell any personal data that is collected by your school facility. All data that gets collected is owned by that associated school and/or school district. Visitor Aware never sells to any third party companies for any reason. Visitor Aware also provides applications for visitor screening kiosks, emergency management and an online administration dashboard that manages both of these applications. Subscription fees are based on the number of school locations and not the number of check-in kiosks (have access to an unlimited number of kiosks and application downloads). They also utilize facial recognition comparisons between the visitors/volunteers and those individuals listed on the National Sex Offender Registry as well as national and international watch lists to eliminate false positives. By implementing these comparisons, it eliminates manual comparisons that would otherwise be the responsibility of office staff to determine.
One of the goals of Visitor Aware is to provide a one-stop-shop for visitor and volunteer services that will provide seamless communication for school facilities. That being said, Visitor Aware will never shy away from providing additional features that will help to further support school facilities and office staff. The daily ebb and flow of the school office environment can be chaotic and their software will reduce some of that chaos through beneficial features both that are currently offered and those yet to be implemented through collaborative efforts with your school. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Visitor Aware for any questions or concerns on how they can help support your school’s visitor and volunteer management goals.
Have questions or comments? Feel free to give us a call 602-362-8008 and/or setup an appointment for a screen share demonstration of Visitor Aware today – We look forward to hearing from you!