Education is an integral component of any modern society. Over the years, the educational, organisational, and managerial approaches to school have been transformed a couple of times, thanks to the introduction of different technological developments. Indeed, technology has come up with numerous innovative solutions in order to simplify and streamline certain educational functions, such as attendance monitoring. One excellent example of these technological innovations is radio frequency identification (RFID).
For many professionals and students alike, the introduction of RFID systems is probably the most revolutionary technological implementation in the education sector. Although RFID has already been around for many years, especially in hospitals, airports, and retail stores, its integration into educational environments has been made only relatively recently. RFID has numerous potential applications in schools, but it is currently being used to specifically improve attendance systems.
Continue reading this article to find out how RFID is used to enhance attendance systems in schools and its benefits to the education sector.
How does an RFID attendance system work?
RFID is a device that makes use of electromagnetic fields to identify and monitor tags attached to objects automatically. These RFID tags contain pieces of information that are stored electronically. Passive tags gather energy from the interrogating radio waves of a nearby RFID reader, and they then interpret signals. These signals are collected and converted into valuable data that can assist in the educational, organisational, and managerial processes of educational institutions.
In terms of attendance monitoring, RFID technology can be implemented in educational environments to provide benefits for all stakeholders – students, teachers, parents, and management. Every student will be given an RFID for them to wear, which can be in the form of a school ID or a part of their uniform.
Every RFID tag will be pre-programmed based on each student’s unique user profile. RFID readers will then be connected to a computer for the storage and processing of the details and database. This computer will, in turn, be connected to a Student Information System whereby various alerts are sent to the different stakeholders. For example, mobile app notifications can be sent to parents and teachers whenever the student enters or leaves the school premises.
The benefits of using RFID for attendance in schools
1. Safety and security
An effectively implemented RFID attendance system delivers security to the day-to-day operations of the school and safety to the students. Because all the information about a student after they enter the school gate in the morning until they leave in the afternoon is recorded and communicated with the teachers and parents, there is less worry about the student’s safety. This provides the parents with the peace of mind they need to concentrate on their work.
2. Fast communication
Without an automated RFID asset tracking system, every update needs to be manually entered into the school system and communicated with the parents. This is usually done either at the end of the day or once a week, considering the heavy workload of teachers and administrative staff. This is not helpful at all in easing the worries of the parents. Fortunately, with RFID, all the location data concerning a student can now be captured and communicated to parents and teachers instantly.
3. Better performance and discipline
Based on case studies, a well-monitored school tends to have better discipline in comparison to a school with no surveillance. This is not just because of the enhanced discipline of the students but also because of the improved discipline of different non-teaching personnel in the school, such as bus drivers and security guards. When the students are aware that their attendance is being monitored live and communicated to their parents instantaneously, they will tend to avoid disciplinary problems. Naturally, disciplined students generally produce better grades in class.
4. Attendance system for teaching and non-teaching personnel
Although RFID technology is primarily used to track students’ attendance, it can also be extended to tracking and monitoring the attendance and movement of teachers and non-teaching personnel without any increase in cost. The same software and hardware components can be utilised to generate information and reports on the attendance and behaviour of teachers and non-teaching staff on the school campus.
The use of RFID in schools can bring many different benefits to the education sector, especially in terms of improving attendance monitoring. Although RFID-related solutions have already been part of library management for a long time, it is only recently that a sudden increase in RFID applications for student tracking has taken place, as it boosts the overall security of the students on school campuses and other places. Through RFID, parents no longer need to worry about the whereabouts and behaviour of their children while in educational environments.