RFID Scanning Systems for Education Use

// December 17th, 2009 // Technology

Ever thought about how annoying it is to have to stop class to take attendance? Wouldn’t it just be great to have a perfect and 100% accurate topology of who is where in your school building?

Business and corporate offices have been doing this for years, and it’s time education caught on. RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is a new technology that uses small little chips that emit an ID, sort of like a UPC or Barcode. The advantage is, you don’t have to scan your card; a reader automatically notices your in range, and adds your ID to the list.

So why invest that kind of money just to make teachers lives simpler? Using RFID badges and scanners in classrooms not only simplifies the teachers work load and increases valuable class time, but with increasing class sizes, it can become simple to miscount someone on the attendance list. This improved accuracy can be seen in places other than in the books through the use of digital hall passes. If a student requests to use the bathroom, the teacher can monitor how long and where that student has traveled and provide proper discipline from there.

Security in school buildings has become a very major issue and topic for discussion in all school districts these days. In many schools and campuses around the nation, it is very simple for a predator or bomber to gain access to critical parts of a school. The use of RFID badges would make sure that everyone is accounted for; guests would be forced to have a guest badge, therefore making sure their movements are not destructive to the learning environment. Another security feature that could be implemented at schools would be to lock exterior doors to all peoples without a proper RFID badge. Guests wanting to gain access to the school would have to check into the main office before continuing into the school. This type of lock system would make schools much safer.

The issue of the authenticity and security of these RFID devices has been questioned by many. Some fear that if a person were to bring a RFID scanner, they could gain access to valuable information found on RFID badges. This is not true as the badge would simply emit a 26, 64, or 128 bit key that would register with a system with the proper information. All data past the RFID scanner placed at the door of a classroom would be encrypted, as it already is in all schools.

RFID scanners could also be included in busses provided by the school, providing an accurate account for all students riding the bus. If a student were to miss the bus, it would trigger an alarm that could call a parent alerting them that their student missed the bus. Students could also use RFID badges to ensure they are on the correct bus; when a student enters the bus, they could be red flagged for not having permissions to ride a certain bus other than their own.

While RFIDs in education is a fairly new topic for education, it is something that should be implemented in many school districts, especially ones with large numbers of security and attendance issues. RFID chips are nearly cost-free and would benefit school districts more than it would cost up front.

Education in America is something that should always be a top priority; it provides the future for America’s greatest inventors, geniuses, and most powerful people. Powerful and prosperous society can only be accomplished by well-educated and career-focused students who, with the right skills, can change how our world works. If education is a number one priority, security and stability of the schools is the number two priority in those buildings.

In the video attached, the man has a credit card using an RFID technology. When he puts those items into his coat and walks through the scanner, the scanner detects what items he has, and automatically bills his credit card appropriately. This is a great application of the RFID system, and while the effects are a bit exaggerated in this video, RFID scanners do not require beams of light to function and simply work through a seamless pass of a sensor with a range of 3-15 feet.

Michael McLeod

3 Responses to “RFID Scanning Systems for Education Use”

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  3. Emily says:

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