Class In Session

Class In Session

How analytics and video surveillance are changing the face of learning


Video analytics enable schools to proactively recognize behaviors to create an efficient and safe environment with minimal disruption. The ability to capture behavior patterns and track a scene, both retroactively and in real time, make it easier than ever before to recognize trends and patterns. This analysis can be critical in the case of a security investigation, but it can also be used to improve operations. For example, densely populated areas of a school can present a challenge for administrators in the event of a serious emergency. Video analytics help pinpoint potential issues proactively and allow administrators to make these areas safer for students.

Data analytics, on the other hand, examine raw data from various sources with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information, and can be used to measure student engagement and offer administrators an inside look at how students perform in the classroom, engage with lesson plans or understand the material. Data analytics is used in a number of institutions to allow leaders to make better gather intelligence and enhance the educational experience.

The combination of information gathered by using both video analytics and data analytics can create a complete picture for teachers and administrators to streamline educational offerings and pinpoint whether students are truly engaging with lesson plans. In this article, we will examine how both methods for streamlining operations and educational experiences are being used in a campus environment, and how schools can begin to use the data in a positive way for serving students and teachers.


Reaching far beyond security use cases, video footage, coupled with analytics software is now emerging as a means to address learning objectives in some educational facilities.

Specific to the use of video only, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard University, video observation of teachers and students in the classroom can contribute to heightened awareness of classroom activities. The research found that using recorded video of real lessons to conduct teacher evaluations resulted in more constructive feedback. According to the study, recorded video of a lesson allows administrators to highlight what teachers do best, but also identify areas for improvement.

Many teachers now believe that capturing video of a lecture or lesson is beneficial for education. Many educators who want to offer students the best possible educational experience welcome the use of video. On the other hand, there may still be a reluctance to embrace the initiative because of the fear of being “spied on.” School administrators can help address these concerns by engaging with teachers on positive uses for the footage, discussion of how the footage will be used and dispersed, and answering questions as they arise.

Along the lines of data analytics in education, schools are implementing ways that allow students to self-report on engagement in the classroom. The idea is that students can track their engagement with lectures and seminars and report how they spend their time, as well as how it compares with other students in the course. Students are responsible for selfreporting, and software analytics is used gather the information from the various student feedback, aggregating it to allow teachers and staff to see how students are performing, or where they are struggling.

The overall benefit is that teachers can be alerted when there’s a particular section that is challenging, when a student may need more one-on-one attention or when someone is falling behind on their workloads. As the technology becomes more developed, schools aim to deliver actionable insights from the data to be used in streamlining educational goals and ensuring students are taking charge of their education investment. Allowing students to directly use analytics to improve the quality of student/teacher engagement in the classroom is another benefit of having analytical tools in the classroom. Pairing these analytics with video results in an even more robust method for improving education, learning and overall operations.


Data collected through video from security cameras used in the classroom, coupled with the data collected through student engagement measurements is irrelevant without being organized into easy to understand and easy to use information that creates a wealth of intelligence for today’s organizations. Analytics makes it possible for officials to gather intelligence from various sources and apply it to security practices, effectively and quickly identifying possible threats, managing emergency situations and efficiently investigating incidents.

Analytics software allows schools to have better insight into risk mitigation, which is a necessity in today’s environment. Through the implementation and deployment of analytics software, both K-12 and college campuses can reach new heights in regards to centralized data and security management, streamlined response to threats and the identification of possible issues that could put students’ lives at risk.

Although these analytics have proven valuable in security, they’re slow to be widely adopted. With new applications and use cases that involve more than the security department, multiple parts of the organization can see value in deployment of cameras and utilization of video.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Security Today.


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