New cameras to safeguard classroom tech

As Western Information Technology Services (ITS) continues to add technology into classrooms across campus, they are also taking additional steps to make sure that technology stays there for all to use.

ITS is currently working closely with the Classroom Management Group and Campus Community Police Services to install security cameras outside the entrances of all general use classrooms on campus. These cameras are monitored by the campus police.

Jeff Grieve, ITS Executive Director, said there are a number of physical (locks and cages) and technical (passwords) security controls already in place to protect classroom technology. However, cameras will provide an additional layer of protection, particularly after hours and overnight, when the rooms should not be in regular use.

The installation comes at a time when the face of modern classrooms is changing, he continued.

“We don’t have a systemic problem – right now. But this is another preventative step we can take” Grieve said. “As we go forward, and we introduce more sophisticated levels of technology into classrooms, they could be come a target for inappropriate or even criminal activity. Western is going to continue to invest in classroom technology and we want to do everything we can to make sure we secure it.”

The specific location and placement for each of these cameras will be guided by the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) process, managed by Campus Police. The process includes targeted communications to interested campus partners who need to understand the camera placement details. Implementation of cameras will be ongoing, starting with the general use classrooms in the University Community Centre, Thames Hall, Somerville House and 3M Centre.

Campus police officials said the footage would enable them to ascertain forensic details relating to cases where classroom assets might be compromised or stolen.

“We are hoping just the visible presence of these cameras alone may be a sufficient deterrent to individuals who might consider entering the classrooms for inappropriate reasons,” Grieve said. “Technology has become an important part of the educational experience – we simply want to make sure that experience is safeguarded for all to use.”