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Re: [K12OSN] OT - Student Entered Attendance System

as a matter of fact I bet(being a web programmer) that you could just write a simple 'check-in/check-out' module for Moodle...


Jay Pfaffman wrote:
Moodle knows what students are and has logging.  You could have
students log in to say that they were there (checking the IP of the
host).  How they'd say they were leaving is less obvious, but the
infrastructure that Moodle provides makes it a good starting point.

On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 5:06 PM, Steven Santos <steven simplycircus com> wrote:
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
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.


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