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Georgia School District to Try Cameras in Classrooms

Dalton Public Schools will put Kloud-12 OneDevice cameras in about a dozen secondary classrooms, with teacher permission, for purposes of remote teaching, professional development, observation and security.

(TNS) — Roughly a dozen secondary classrooms in Dalton Public Schools will have cameras this school year as part of a pilot effort.

"We're testing the water," said Superintendent Tim Scott. "We're only asking for teachers who want to do this, (so) no one has to do it."

"There are a lot of ways to use them," Stuart Davis, Dalton Public Schools' director of technology and telecommunications, informed the Dalton Board of Education members during a Monday work session at Dalton Junior High School. "If we try it this year, and it doesn't work, we won't use them" anymore.

"Teachers are in control of everything from the instruction side" with the Kloud-12 OneDevice cameras, Davis said. Teachers can, for example, teach a lesson in one room of a school, with that content delivered to another room or even another school, allowing them to "double up on instruction."

These cameras are designed specifically for schools, so they're "nearly invisible," according to Kloud-12, which is based in Atlanta. The cameras offer a handful of different viewing angles, including 360 degrees, as well as the ability to pan, tilt and zoom without motors, which means silent operation and reliability.

The cameras are used by teachers in many school systems for professional development, Scott said. Teachers watch themselves to improve, or teachers watch other teachers for possible tips.

The cameras could also be used by administrators for teacher observations, and teachers may want to record a particular day or lesson to show administrators, Davis said. This is "no different than videotaping a football or baseball practice, then going back to watch it."

There's also a "security" function available with the cameras, which could be helpful "if something happens" in a classroom, he said. "We could go back and watch what is captured by the camera."

Hammond Creek Middle School, which opens for the 2021-22 academic year for students in grades six and seven, will use some of the cameras, Scott said. Which teachers and classrooms there, as well as whether other secondary schools will pilot the cameras this year, remains to be determined.

Antivirus protection

Dalton Public Schools also has upgraded its antivirus protection this year with "a new platform, Carbon Black, and EDR is the biggest thing we're getting out of that," Davis said. EDR (endpoint detection and response) offers "threat hunting and incident response."

If Dalton Public Schools is victimized by a ransomware attack, Carbon Black 's EDR will "hunt the virus in our network and stop it," he said. That's "a huge lifesaver for us."

"Ransomware attacks are way up this year" across the nation and globe, but "we're excited about Carbon Black," he said. "We think it's going to make a huge difference this year."

Stadium update

The new stadium on the campus of the former Dalton Middle School, which is now shared between Dalton Junior High School and The Dalton Academy, is scheduled for completion in mid-December, said Palmer Griffin, vice chairman of the school board. Dirt "is being moved," drainage piping is on site and "footings" for the concession stand have been placed.

The field, which meets FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) soccer size requirements, will "probably be one of the largest fields between Atlanta and Knoxville," Tennessee, according to Rusty Lount, director of operations for Dalton Public Schools. The field will also be lined for football and lacrosse.

The stadium, including bleachers to seat roughly 3,000, a press box and a concession stand, "is going to be incredible," said Matthew Mederios, principal of The Dalton Academy. "People will be blown away by it."

©2021 The Daily Citizen (Dalton, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.