Tracking Schools, Why Should You Be Keeping Tabs?
published on July 26, 2013 by Sonia Mastros
The march of progress in the past couple decades has been breathtaking. We've watched communications technologies explode, bringing the world together and putting computers everywhere. For the most part, this has been a boon for schools – teachers and administrators now have access to teaching and organizational tools that would have been unimagined thirty years ago.
However, for all its benefits, the “wired” 21st Century is bringing all-new challenges to school administrators. Those same tools that empower your students also empower those who may wish to harm them, as well as introducing a host of new privacy problems that also would have been unimagined thirty years ago.
Sad to say, for all its wonders, the brave new world is also a somewhat more dangerous one on a personal level.
Some schools, seeking a modern way of addressing these modern problems, have adopted a new strategy: student tracking systems. These “tracking schools” utilize RFID technology to help them keep tabs on their students. It's inexpensive, and it solves a lot of these issues.
RFID Brings Modern Safety To Tracking Schools
At the heart of these new student tracking systems are Radio-Frequency ID tags, or RFID chips. These are tiny radio chips that are only about the size of a small pebble, and thousands can be manufactured just for a few dollars.
Each chip also has a single purpose: It has a unique identification number within it and, if it comes within range of a receiver, it broadcasts that number. The effective range is only a few feet, and otherwise, the RFID chip remains dormant. Most don't even require a power source.
These tags were originally developed for industry, to help with tracking shipments, parts, and to prevent theft. However, their tiny size and equally tiny expense make them ideal for a wide range of applications. For example, embedding them into your student tracker ID cards.
The Benefits of Being Part Of The Tracking Schools
By placing a unique RFID chip inside each student ID card, you've got an easy way to keep tabs on every student in your school. This means:
Having a record every time the student steps foot on school property.
Quickly locating them if they're not in class at the right time.
Higher attendance and, therefore, higher state funds.
Accurate school bus tracking, including a list of every child that rode as well as both their embarkation and debarkation points.
An extensive database to consult if a student ever goes missing.
The possibility of more quickly finding students who have been improperly taken off campus.
Peace of mind in your day-to-day routine, knowing you can account for all the students under your care.
Now, it's true that there has been some controversy around the use of these RFID chips among tracking schools, but honestly, we feel it's mostly overblown. We sympathize with those who worry about potential privacy violations, yet for the most part, all these chips do is find lost children and ensure they're in their seats, studying.
Further, since the RFID chips have no identifying information on them besides their serial number, there's no danger of them being used to steal data on a student either. Without access to information in your secure servers, the RFID chip is useless to anyone with ill intent.
Modern Problems Need Modern Solutions
Technology marches on, whether the school districts are keeping up or not. Students today are living in a world of data and surveillance... and both of these can be harnessed to keep them safe as long as they're under the protection of your school.
We invite you to learn more about student tracking systems, and consider whether the time has come for your district to join the tracking schools!