Today, ADI hosted a webinar, “New Opportunities in Education: Create Safe, Secure Learning Environments,” to discuss what K-12 schools and daycare facilities need to continue addressing today’s health and security challenges. 

John Sullivan, ADI vice president, strategic accounts, moderated the discussion with industry experts: Rick Zimmerman, vice president of security, Koorsen Fire & Security; Mike Bradly, CEO, ECD Systems; Chris Ebert, director of sales, Midwest, Aiphone; Bruce Canal, education segment manager, Axis Communications; David Antar, president, IP Video Corporation; and TJ Dickson, VP of sales and marketing, Speco Technologies. 

ADI has ramped up its online webinar training opportunities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The second panel discussion the company has hosted with its supplier partners and customers, the session took an engaging question and answer format, addressing a variety of questions those in the space may have during this uncertain time.

When Sullivan asked what new security steps schools should take going into the next year, Bruce Canal of Axis recommended doing a full assessment of the building, creating partnerships and providing plenty of documentation. 

Canal, along with Chris Ebert of Aiphone, also emphasized the importance of staff security training at schools.

“I think staff training on a continued basis of best practices is important,” Ebert said. “Post-Sandy Hook, I would go to any number of schools dressed in all black with two big black cases, I would press the intercom button, and they would let me in without any type of communication. These technologies [aren’t so useful] if they aren’t used properly. And that was a part of the communication when I would go to schools.”

When Sullivan asked what role manufacturers play in adapting changes as a result of a problem like COVID-19, Ebert said they play an important role.

“There have been a number of events that have happened over the past few years that have changed school security policies,” Ebert said. “The important thing is to note that schools are a community center, and everybody needs to feel safe in that community center. Most recognize that COVID-19 will probably come and go in a relatively short amount of time, but it will absolutely leave a mark on society in the long term, and manufacturers will have a responsibility to adapt to those changes.”

Later, Canal pointed to the importance of communication with clients when Sullivan asked the introductory questions school security directors should be asking themselves.

“They need to ask themselves about the vulnerabilities and what we are trying to achieve,” Canal said. “That’s the first thing you have to do. Is your biggest problem vaping? Is it fighting? I think sometimes we as the professionals think the solution we’ve got is the answer, but we have to listen first.”

David Antar of IP Video Corporation explained how vaping should be an even greater concern for schools in the midst of the pandemic, since COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that could become worse as a result vaping. He then pointed to the Halo product — which has 12 different sensors to detect vaping and more — as the nose and ears to the eyes video surveillance provides.

Some panelists discussed how their products have assisted schools in the move to elearning, providing additional use cases for customers.

“I have been on countless calls with school administrators about elearning,” Canal said. “So how are districts going back? It’s probably going to consist of students wearing a mask, going to class every other day or every three days, and then the elearning piece comes in. Axis has a broadcast-quality camera that teachers can use . . . It can connect to Facebook, Instagram and a lot of other social media sites.”

Antar said IP Video Corporation has a whole division on instructional technology for STEM learning in schools. 

“The key things is, how do you present the technology to kids who are at home, so it feels like they are in class?” Antar said. 

Until the new normal becomes more normal, though, most of the panelists agreed the best thing to do is listen to customers and the new pain points that are developing.

Learn about future ADI webinars at