News Feature | December 2, 2014

How RFID Technology Can Help Protect Students

By Cheryl Knight, contributing writer

Education IT News For VARs 2-19-15: Location-Based Platform For Social Learning

In an effort to improve the safety of children on their way to and from schools, school systems are looking into tracking solutions as a way to keep tabs on where students are. And according to a The Elkhart Truth article, a Peru, IN, school has taken the necessary steps to implement such a program by issuing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cards to its students.

How The System Works

According to school officials, they were receiving at least one call a week from a concerned parent communicating that their child had not gotten off at their bus stop. But according to Peru Community Schools Transportation Director Dave Frushour, in The Elkhart Truth article, “Electronically, I can pull up on a computer that Johnny’s on the bus, and Johnny got off the bus.” He further continued, “This will save everyone time and give parents peace of mind to know that we know where their child is.”

The student swipes a card when they get on or off the bus. This, in turn, allows the school district to track the student’s whereabouts, as far as what bus they are on. The ID card also has the bus number and stop stamped on it to help make sure they board the correct bus and exit at the correct stop. Furthermore, the card reader gives school officials access to information such as who rides regularly and how many empty seats are on any particular bus. Frushour stresses that no personal information is stored on the cards or readers.

Radio Frequency Identification Technology In Action

RFID technology has come a long way from its inception, according to the article “Five Reasons Why RFID IS Ready For Prime Time.”

Now beyond the hype that surrounded its introduction,  RFID has “become just another tool in the toolbox” as a part of asset tracking, file management, specimen tracking, retail inventory management, work-in-progress tracking — as well as the example above.

The growing number of RFID technology options, along with the continued introduction of new options, is making RFID a part of many solutions.