Viewers will hear case studies from two school districts that have had marked success in implementing GPS tracking solutions and smartphones for instant communication during a free, live STN webinar on Oct. 3.
Sponsored by AT&T, the webinar will include Pat Mitchell of Mobile County (Ala.) Public Schools and Craig Radtke of Boerne ISD in Texas, who will join John Moscatelli, the company's director of industry solutions, to discuss how the technology is driving increased safety and efficiency of operations. Mitchell, Mobile County's director of transportation, has overseen the implementation of mobile resource management (MRM) using Actsoft from AT&T, a GPS-enabled solution that monitors the speed and location of all district school buses, engine alerts, hard braking, fuel consumption and ignition status. Mitchell said it can also re-route the buses around local accidents and traffic jams.
"Now we can punch in a bus number and find out where the bus is in near real-time," he added. "If the driver deviates from the route, we are able to see that, too."
He added that Actsoft from AT&T also can help with navigating bad-weather situations, and the data captured and reported has helped to decrease the overall number of parental complaints.
Meanwhile, Radtke implemented AT&T's Enhanced Push-to-Talk (EPTT) solution on the company's 4G LTE network. It is installed in the entire fleet of 80 school buses for improved communication with drivers, especially in the Texas Hill Country around San Antonio, where he said "communications and emergency preparedness were in need of significant improvement." The district buses students across a 360-square-mile area. Radtke, Boerne ISD's director of transportation — and other district administrators — use Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphones that allow him to instantly connect with anyone in the district, from the superintendent to building custodians.
"It's so easy to use and so comprehensive at the same time," said Radtke of the EPTT solution from AT&T, which he is promoting for use by the entire city of Boerne. "I can create a group on-the-fly and contact anyone in the group in less than a second."
Both Mitchell and Radtke will detail their experiences and discuss how they and AT&T conducted pilot programs in their respective districts, trained bus drivers and other departmental personnel, and how AT&T has provided the service, which Boerne added is second to none.