Mobile IoT Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

GPS Tracking Puts Parents at Ease

GPS Tracking Puts Parents at Ease

A school in California has used an innovative wireless solution to ease parents' minds when their children are off on class trips.

Christ Lutheran School, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, is part of a Southern California institution that has been in existence for more than 75 years. The school has approximately 400 students from various parts of the greater Los Angeles area, and is recognized as a leading educational institution in the Palos Verdes area. Christ Lutheran's success is in part due to its ability to provide a quality education with strong emphasis on basic skills, an enriched learning environment through the effective use of field trips, and a sense of safety and security for both students and parents.

The Situation
Each year elementary and high schools send classes on field trips. Since the rise in violence against school children, the attacks of September 11, and the ongoing presence in Iraq, class trips to distant major cities have caused parents undue stress. They find it tough to balance a desire to let their children leave home and explore with a natural concern about safety. In the last two years, trip participation has dropped by approximately one-third.

The school has a 20-year tradition of going to Washington, DC, for a field trip. Despite that tradition, after 9/11 people have been a bit antsy about travel ­ let alone sending their children on a trip across the country.

The Solution
To help allay parents' concerns about an eighth-grade class field trip to Washington, DC, Christ Lutheran School recently worked with Wherify Wireless (www.wherifywireless.com) to provide one of their GPS tracking devices to accompany 35 students to Washington, DC. Instead of putting the device on each child, two adult chaperones shared possession of it.

Utilizing the existing GPS and cellular phone networks, this unique device allowed parents to track the group's location via the Internet. This kept the focus of the trip on education and kept parents and students from feeling the need to use cellphones to provide updates on the group during activities.

The Results
Parents were able to log on to the Wherify Web site and find their child's location within 1­30 meters of accuracy with any location fix. The locator enables the wearer to be tracked in most locations. The Wherify Web site posted maps showing the group's location and even aerial views of the location the group was in. Stacy Russo, a parent on the trip stated, "I thought the device was cool because there were a lot of parents who were really concerned."

Student Tim Joyce and his mother, Andrea, went on the trip. Andrea received a call from her husband saying, "I know where you are." She stated that, "Similar uses of the device would be very comforting because you could use the service on the Internet to find out where your children are and know that they got there safely. All of those things, when you're expecting that phone call and it never comes. You could just check and see that the school bus is on the road between destinations."

Tim said, "I kind of like it because I don't have to call my parents as much ­ they can just check on me."

"Parents were pleased with being able to track the students' progress through the Washington, DC area," said Robert Gourley, director of the school's board of education. "With devices like the Wherify locator, we believe participation and parent satisfaction in such events will be higher in the future."

With the aerial photo feature, parents were able to live vicariously throughout the trip. For example, they could see the position of the students on an archived photo at the front steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

"This was a way to get a feel of how it would work and to put parents' minds at ease," Christ Lutheran principal Jim Neumann said. "This was my introduction to the technology, and it was exciting to see the possibilities."

More Stories By Mark Buczko

Mark Buczko is vice president of the board of directors for Christ Lutheran
Church and School in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and managing partner
at NMC Partners (www.nmcpartners.com), a Long Beach­based public relations
firm. Mark has worked with wireless communication, location, and navigation
clients in the United States and Europe. He holds an advanced degree from
the University of Southern California.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...