It’s back to school for many students in Los Angeles. This means parents are out scrabbling to get the last bit of summer break and at the same time cleaning out the school supplies shelves at their local Office Depot.
Amongst the many school supplies parents are purchasing for their little Einstein’s technology is somewhat over looked. I’m not talking about Ipads, tablets, computers or cell phones. Those items are almost as essential as pen and paper in todays data driven K-12 education. In this post I will be provide you with information about the technology to help protect and keep your child safe.
Cyber Bully Prevention Technology
Bullying is a major issue in many of our school campuses. Progressive school districts like Lynwood Unified are taking very aggressive pro-active steps to identifying and stopping incidents of bullying. There has been a shift in incidents reported. Cyber space bullying now leads with the most incidents of bullying reported compared to that of on campus bullying. School districts like Lynwood Unified have a no tolerance policy towards bullying and have extended this policy to cyber bullying as well. They have engaged cyber security companies to help implement an intelligent cyber monitoring system. The sophisticated technology comes at a hefty price tag which makes it inaccessible for many parents.
The answer for affordable monitoring solution, TeenSafe. TeenSafe is a local company located in the city of Santa Monica. I was very impressed with their solution to help parents monitor their pre-teens and teens social media activity. One of the most impressive feature of the software is the ability to monitor text messaging. The app is not about depriving or withholding, it’s about empowering parents to best teach their children how to use digital media and devices responsibly. The app gives parents insight and information to help their teen make better cyber decisions. Parents should use monitoring to teach their children how to conduct themselves in the new “social” world. To learn more about TeenSafe visit their website. They have plenty of information on how you can protect your child from cyber bulling and other cyber threats.
Equipment/ Key Tracking Tech
Keys come and go. A house key goes missing every 3 seconds in America. Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but we all have lost keys, phones, backpacks, tablets, ect. Your kids with keys, you know it is bound to happen.
I’ve been using a key locator product for about six months. It’s called Lapa and developed by Lapa Studio. Lapa is a protégées company and they developed a Bluetooth key finder product. Lapa is certainly not the only company that makes this product. A simple search on google for “Bluetooth key finders” will provide you results from Cube, Tile, Pally, Duet and many others. I decided to go with Lapa. Lapa key finder has a bidirectional functionally that impressed me. Along with losing my keys I sometimes misplace my phone. As long as I have my keys I can ring my phone using the Lapa key fob, even if the phone is in silent mode.
I can’t say I’ve had no issues with Lapa. One of the features they mention on their site is a “leave behind” alert system feature. If you leave your lapa fob that is attached to your item behind Lapa fob will notify your phone. The issue I had is that it alerted me after I was beyond 50ft away from my item. If I were to leave my item on a bus or subway, by the time I was alerted of leaving it the bus would be well on its way to the next stop.
In all, the core functionality of locating keys and phone works very well. My most recent use of the Lapa was to find my phone. It did that very well. Lapa can be attached to many other items other than keys. You can attach it to laptops, tablets, bicycle, and backpacks. If you would like to test out the Lapa fob we have a few demo fobs you can try before your buy. When you’re ready we have them in stock.
Advance Bicycle Lock Technology
Getting to and from school is crucial for a successful school year. If your student rides their bike to school, then you want to consider getting a Noke bike lock. Lapa will find your missing keys, but Noke will make you forget you ever needed keys. Noke makes a keyless bike lock called the U-Lock. The U-Lock is a Bluetooth enabled lock that unlocks using an app on your phone. Your child does not have a phone, no problem you can unlock the U-Lock using a key fob. The benefit of the U-Lock are no keys needed, no need to remember a combination, it’s simple and fast to unlock using your phone or key fob.
We have a few U-Locks on hand. If you’d like to test one out before buying one give us a call. We would be glad to show you how it works. If you purchase a lock form us, we will setup up the lock and provide a courtesy training session on how to us it.
Home Video Camera System
In my past life I provided government buildings with sophisticated video surveillance systems. My design strategy was to provide video of the exterior and interior public space of the property. For home customers my design strategy was different. I opted not to include interior cameras in the design. Never did I see the benefit of extending a system inside the home. Until I saw a video of a young girl walking home and being followed by a stranger who then forces his way in the house. The indoor and outdoor camera documented the entire incident. This was my “aha” moment. It now made sense.
A video system for the home is essential. A best practice design is to install cameras at your entry points inside and out. The features of a system are very important as well. A basic feature of a good system should include alerts and notification. When your child comes home it should notify you via a text message or email with included image of your child entering the door. Live view video is another helpful feature. As a parent I want the ability to view my cameras on my phone anytime any where.
Camera system are now more affordable. The cameras come in several variations. They include analog camera, IP camera or a combination of both analog and IP camera. Analog cameras are inexpensive but don’t provide the best image quality. IP cameras varies from super cheap to very nice expensive. For you DIY’rs Ubiquiti manufactures some very inexpensive IP cameras that are pretty decent. They will get the job done. If you are a little tech savvy you will be able to install this system with little to no problems. But if you run into problems we’ll be standing by to lend a helping hand. If professional installation is more your style, many security companies offer cameras with their alarm products. Paul from Protection Alarms. He has a great reputation and his staff is off the wall professional.
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Back to School
Keeping our kids safe is top priority. Companies like Lapa and Noke are relatively new companies with very innovative products. I’ve seen a lot of progress with TeenSafe. Since my last visit back in May of this year the product has evolved. This tells me they are staying abreast of the ever changing face of technology and social communication, this is a good thing. As you can see, technology purchases go beyond a computer, tablet or phone. These are technologies that empower parents. This school year consider adding some parent empowering technology to your back-to-school shopping list, your kids depend on it.