Blog by: Sushil Raut (RFID Consultant, eTechSchool)
These challenges every school management faces include:
- Lack of visibility into the location of students inside the school premisesLack of actual head count of students present inside the school premises
- Students bunking and not attending the classes and putting up proxy attendance
- Time consumed in manual head count while taking attendance
- No visibility of students during transit
- Security issues linked in terms of student security inside the school and also during transit
Location tracking could be an essential feature for schools in terms of tracking students inside facility as some of the students have destructive tendency as well as it is crucial in terms of security of students specially when it comes to kinder garden.
If management staff can identify and track the location of students, they can improve the accuracy of managing the school and enhance security.
RFID – Student Tracking System:
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is not new if we recollect that we used this technology to identify friendly aircraft during World War II. However, with the falling prices of tags, RFID has thus become attractive.
The RFID tags in tracking system can be applied to students as well as teachers, allowing the readers on door frames, walls and other areas to detect and record interactions.
The key to tackling challenges in student tracking involves the use of smart information technologies that can support the goals of safety without requiring massive budget increases. Real-time monitoring with real-time identification and alert services can provide immediate and measurable benefits including safety improvements and school-management development.RFID combined with location technology, provides the means to identify and locate students in real time, anywhere inside the school. These technologies allow anywhere, continuous, non-interfering monitoring capabilities inside the school premises.
Once integrated, these technologies provide a wealth of real time and historical information that can release management from nonessential duties, while providing enhanced monitoring, increased security and incident prevention.
Visibility and Monitoring of Students
RFID allows school management to increase visibility and monitoring of student activities. Features include:
- Continuous location and visualization of the position of individuals or groups in any part of the school
- Control room facility for complete monitoring
- Automated Real-time headcount for every classroom
- Automated recording of student attendance via the association of a RFID technology with the backend software
- Communication alerts to management for unauthorized and unexplainable incidents in regards of students
- Dynamic alert rules, based on student activities
- Student-specific alarm, for indicating any attempt to unauthorized and unexplainable movements
- Extensive reports including both operational and strategic data
Benefits of RFID Student Tracking:
RFID – Real Time Attendance:A unique ID number written number each tag can be associated with the name of the student to whom it is issued. As the students pass through the reader-generated interrogation field under a doorway, the reader sends the tags' unique ID numbers to a central server.
A software program, installed on the server, will collect the tag data and uploads a list of present, absent and tardy (based on when they enter the classroom) students to a PDA that is issued to the teacher. The upload can be done wirelessly over an 802.11b Wi-Fi protocol. The teacher can then perform a visual check on the system-generated attendance list by scanning the room to reconcile what the list says with what she sees in the classroom. Once confirmed, the list is submitted wirelessly via the same PDA to school administrators.
Thus the total time taken for the attendance of students in the class of 30-50+ students can be reduced drastically utilizing it more for increasing study period.
RFID – Disciplinary Actions for Students:
If a student of any grade attempts to enter the lounge instead of attending a scheduled class, an alarm can be raised with the child's photo on a monitor's computer of security, and that student can be turned away. These RFID-based applications can prove very effective in discouraging students from attempting to leave campus or enter the student lounge without authorization.
The system can further be extended to integrate access control mechanism for grating an access to computer labs, laboratories etc. only to those students who are scheduled as per their timetable.The school can use the RFID-enabled ID cards to verify students for authorization to attend sporting events, or to check books out of the library etc.
RFID – Tracking Students during transit:
In the current scenario, once the student leaves the school in school buses there is no track or visibility to both school management as well as parents to know about the where about of the students i.e. where they get down.This sometimes leads to very unpleasant situation for both school and parents especially in case of kids who are in lower standards.The system will allow school management as well as parents to know whether the student is on the bus or he/she has got down from the bus.
A RFID reader installed in the bus will record the tag id of the students getting in and out of the bus. This data is send to the central server through GSM network. Thus school can track which all students are riding on which bus. Thus as soon as student enters in the bus he will be assigned automatically with that bus and his time in will be recorded.As soon as the student gets down from the bus, reader will again record the transaction informing the central server that which student has got down from the bus, at which location and at what time.
The same information can be conveyed to the respective parents through email or SMS on their mobile phones. Thus even parents are aware about their kids.
RFID – Tracking School Buses:
The system can be enhanced and integrated with GPS (Global Positioning System) to track the school buses on road.Every school bus can be fitted with GPS modem unit which will be linked to the Global Positioning service made available by the local service provider.As these vehicles will move from one place to another dropping student at respective places from school, the GPS system will track the vehicle on the road for its present location in real time.This will help school to identify the routes taken by buses and keep a track of them on the road in real time.
School Management can use this information to optimize journey routes to reduce time of dropping the students.The real time location information available through GPS system about the school bus on which the particular student is boarded can also be conveyed to his/her parents through SMS on their mobiles.Thus linking this information with RFID data collected from each bus, exact location at which the particular student got off the bus can be recorded and traced avoiding any unpleasant incidences.
Conclusion:Thus the use of RFID technology for student tracking can be summarized in following points:
- The RFID system is ideal for tracking students inside the school facility
- Provides constant monitoring of students’ locations, records offender movements, including date and time
- Permits management staff to control offender movements through the use of exclusion and/or inclusion zones and there by enforcing disciplinary actions
- Designed for monitoring multiple students in the field
- It can be integrated as portable, real-time attendance tracking system
- Real time continuous presence verification; No one leaves without teacher or security knowing
- School Management and Parents can track real time location of students in transit
- School Management can also track real time location of school buses on road thereby allowing optimization of routes
- RFID provides cheaper location tracking system