[K12OSN] OT - Student Entered Attendance System

Carl Keil carl at snarlnet.com
Mon Jun 23 07:58:40 UTC 2008

Hey Kind Folks,

I've been asked to create something and I thought I'd pick the 
collective brain before possibly entering into the wheel reinvention game.

Does anyone know of a computerized system for keeping track of 
attendance that would function with the kids themselves (k-12) entering 
their own comings and goings into the system?  As I sit down to design 
this I'm imagining all kinds of data integrity nightmares with 
kindergarteners clicking "sign in" and "sign out" buttons that are next 
their (or someone else's) name.  This would be some sort of kiosk by the 
front door.  I'm thinking that if I use a web interface (I am a web 
programmer), I'll use a thin client for this. 

This is for a free school, where kids can enter and leave the school at 
different times.  There is no "home room" or designated check in time.  
Right now, kids sign in on paper, but it is making reporting and 
tracking trends difficult.  I'm toying with the idea of using facial 
(and possibly voice) recognition software.  So, a kid comes in, sticks 
their mug into a camera and clicks a button that either says they are 
coming or going.  If the picture can't be recognized, it is stored and 
flagged for human identification.  I have no idea how to do that though. 

One other design problem is that we need some record of who's in the 
building that we can grab if there's a fire or other emergency.  That's 
where the sign-in sheet on the clipboard really shines.

Any brainstormy thoughts at all about pitfalls or solutions would be 
helpful at this point.  Anyone else have a situation similar to this?


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