School officials sit front row at tech showcase - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

School officials sit front row at tech showcase

If the thought of IPads in area classrooms seem high-tech, get ready.
School officials across the Tri-County area had a front row seat in the Verizon Call Center in North Charleston, as vendors nationwide showcased new tech tools, meant to make the classroom safer, and more effective.
One of the items showcased, called an E-Trak, has already made it into nearly a dozen school districts nationwide, in only its first few months on the market.
Not much bigger than a quarter, weighing in at twenty grams,the E-Trak serves as a mobile panic button administrators can either wear on a lanyard or store in their pockets.  After pushing the button, the device alerts local authorities within seconds of a potential emergency.
"When you look at what happened at Sandy Hook, it took a few minutes before 911, the officers were notified," said Gary Menees, E-Trak Executive Vice President.
"Our aim is to be able to send this notification much quicker, in seconds, versus minutes," he added.
Another high-tech tool on display was the V-Go.  Standing at nearly three feet, the mobile robot allows students unable to physically be in a classroom, to share in the experience using nothing more than their tablet from home.
"What the students in the classroom see is that child driving the V-Go, so they see them, they can talk to them, they can respond, they can communicate back and forth," said V-GO Regional Manager Lee Weinberg.
The cost of one V-Go ranges between six and seven thousand dollars, but schools can rent the mobile device at a much lower cost.
Vendors offered to host a second meeting for school officials interested in purchasing any of the devices.
Copyright 2013 WCSC.  All rights reserved.
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