All of us enjoy the benefits of RFID solutions every day even though many of us do not recognize its presence in various situations in our daily life. We see it in retail stores, libraries, hospitals, amusement parks, airports, schools and any place where tracking of item/people movements are implemented to serve the customers better. Even though RFID related solutions were part of libraries from a long time ago, there is a sudden growth in the RFID applications for student tracking as it enhances the overall security of students in schools and other places where constant supervision of adults is required. The RFID applications can produce enormous data that can be analyzed to derive insights for decision making.
How RFID Attendance System works?
The RFID can be implemented in a school environment to derive the benefits for all stakeholders – students, parents, teachers, and management. Each student will be given an RFID tag to wear. This can be in the form of an ID card or a part of their daily uniform. Each RFID tag will be preprogrammed according to the unique user profile of the student. The antennas will be placed in strategical locations like school gate, classroom doors, library, canteen, etc. Multiple antennas can be placed around the same location to increase accuracy and work as a standby to avoid the single point of failure.
The antennas will be connected to RFID readers and power source through a well-planned grid of power cables and communication cables. The RFID readers are then connected to a computer to store and process the information and database. This computer will be connected to the student information system like Fedena whereby different alerts are sent to the stakeholders. Ex: SMS alerts to parents when the student enters the main gate, Mobile app notifications when the student enters or leaves a certain area.
Benefits of using RFID Attendance System in schools
- Security & Safety
A well-implemented RFID attendance system provides security to the daily operations and safety of the students. As all the information about the student after the student enters the gate in the morning till leaving in the evening is recorded and communicated with the parents, there is less worry about the safety of the students. Since all the details are communicated to parents through SMS or mobile apps, the parents find peace of mind and they can focus on their work easily.
- Fast Communication
Without an automated RFID solution, each of the updates has to be manually entered into the student information system to communicate with the parents. According to the workload of teachers and admin staff, this task might be done either end of the day or once every week. This is not helpful to the parents as this is the same as how schools are operated before the advent of technology. With RFID solution all the location data is captured and communicated to the student information system instantly. According to the settings selected by the student information system operator, the same information will be delivered to the parents on pre-set timing and logic.
- Better Discipline & Better Grades
It is observed and proven in case studies that a well-monitored school will have better discipline compared to schools without surveillance. This is not only because of the improved discipline of the kids, but also due to the improved discipline of various non-teaching staff in the school like security guards, bus drivers, maids etc.. When students are aware of the fact that the attendance is tracked live and communicated to parents instantaneously, this will avoid disciplinary issues. And better-disciplined students produce better grades and good citizens.
Other Places to Install and Benefit from RFID System in a School
Other than taking attendance of students, the RFID solution can be implemented to enhance the library experience for everyone. Instead of barcode, the books can be implanted with RFID tags for tracking and data analyzing. This combined with the RFID tags of students will produce seamless experience in library books lending and returning without the need of queues in the library. Also, students can search in library management software or school management software for the availability of any book. Over a period of time, the RFID system will also produce insightful reports on the movement of students and books within the library to understand the behavior of students. Where we can learn why certain student behaviors are helping them become good readers and good students.
- Restricted Areas
In most of the schools, there will be restricted areas where the students are not advised not to approach. This can be for privacy, security, and safety or to improve discipline. The entry to the restricted areas can be tracked and the warning can be issued immediately.
- School Buses
Another recent trend is to implement an RFID system in school buses. This allows the tracking of students outside the school campus when they are on a school bus. This collects information about the stops where the kids on-boarded and de-boarded the bus. This also will be communicated to parents on a realtime basis through the student information system mobile apps or SMS.
A good RFID system can be used to automate the daily operations in canteen similar to the way a library is automated. Payments can be deducted from the pre-funded wallets integrated with the student information system and the RFID solution. This will save a lot of valuable time of students and teachers.
- Attendance System for Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff
While the RFID system is mainly used for tracking of students’ attendance, the same system can be extended to track the attendance and movement of teachers and non-teaching staff without an increase in cost. The same hardware and software components can be used to generate reports on teachers and non-teaching staff attendance and behavior in the school campus.
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