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RE: [K12OSN] OT - Student Entered Attendance System

I once worked in an after school program that faced a situation not unlike
yours.  What they did was give every student what amounted to a poker chip
with their name on it, a string through it (to hand around their neck) and a
magnet on the back of it (later changed to Velcro).

When a student came in in the morning (AM care), they would take the chip
off the big board in the outer office.  When they entered a room, they would
put their chip on the classroom board.  When they left to go to another
room, they would take the chip off the board, and take it with them to place
on the next board.

In the case of an emergency, the teacher would just take the board off the
classroom wall and have an accurate attendance. Another teacher would take
the remaining chips off the main board to know who is not in school, and
then they could do a quick comparison to get who is unaccounted for.

that system has been in use in that program for over 25 years, and it is
still in use today. Sometimes computers are not the best solution to these
kind of problems.  On the other hand, this an RFID tag embedded in each of
the chips and a reader in each of the boards may be another way to
accomplish this AND be able to track it...

Steven Santos
Director, Simply Circus, Inc.
Email: Steven SimplyCircus com
 Mail: 14 Pierrepont Road
       Newton, MA 02462
Phone: 617-527-0667
  Web: www.SimplyCircus.com <http://www.SimplyCircus.com>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: k12osn-bounces redhat com [mailto:k12osn-bounces redhat com]On
> Behalf Of Carl Keil
> Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 4:08 PM
> To: k12osn redhat com
> Subject: Re: [K12OSN] OT - Student Entered Attendance System
> >
> > Seems crude, but aren't you talking about an RFID warehousing system?
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 12:58 AM, Carl Keil <carl 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
> The first thing I asked the school's director was if it would be OK to
> chip the kids.  This is exactly like herding cats, which, apparently,
> you have some experience with.  I've since realized that even chipping
> the kids and/or video surveillance won't work.  The kids at this school
> have the option of playing outside if there is an adult out there to
> supervise.  This isn't considered "checking out".  The kids really do
> need to click or swipe something to signify their intention to
> stay/leave.  Since these kids can't be relied on to bring ID badges
> every day and tattooing bar codes is a wee bit too futuristic, I'm
> heavily leaning towards fingerprint swipers.
> Can anyone recommend a linux friendly, affordable, USB, fingerprint
> reader?  One that can read through gloves, mittens, masking tape and
> layers of assorted jams and jellies?  My wife loves the idea of a hand
> sanitizer station next to the finger print swiper, cut down on colds and
> flus and track the kids all in one fluid motion.
> Thank you everyone for your help thinking this through.
> ck
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