[K12OSN] OT - Student Entered Attendance System

Julius Szelagiewicz julius at turtle.com
Mon Jun 23 13:17:37 UTC 2008

On Mon, 23 Jun 2008, Mel Wade wrote:

> Seems crude, but aren't you talking about an RFID warehousing system?
> On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 12:58 AM, Carl Keil <carl at snarlnet.com> wrote:
> > 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?
> >

There are many pitfalls, the biggest being smart kids - don't ever
underestimate the ability of a four year old to deceive.

Single scan (forget the in/out buttons, just have the current state ready)
will tell you just that something got scanned, so there is a problem right
there. The kids can scan in and -not- enter or leave.

All the tokens not attached permanently can be exchanged ....

Can you do something of a bit futuristic nature, since the future will
happen soon? What I have in mind is "chipping" the kids with tiny RFID
chips. Works for my cats. I had to change the design from a single scanner
with the door mechanism to three scanners, so that I really know where
they are. I've seen cats and kids change their minds and back out after
opening the doors to go in -:)

Of course the above was somewhat in jest, but there is no good solution
without the use of biometrics, and even those can be fooled.

One inexpensive way is to count heads going in and out - web cam, simple
software. Make sure you push the video to an external server. In case of
an emergency, you'll now -how many- kids are in, to find out -which- kids,
you'd need to view the video. As far as I know, this is acceptable level
of data for emergencies.

Good luck, julius

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