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What Is the Right Solution for Tracking Students for Attendance Purposes?
Should we use passive HF or passive UHF RFID?
RFID is being used by a number of schools to track student attendance. The right solution depends on what approach you prefer to take. If you want students to present a card at the entrance of the school or each classroom, a passive high-frequency (HF) system would work fine. The downside to this approach is that students might forget to scan their badge, leave their it at home by mistake or ask another student to swipe them in.
A passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) system offers a longer read range, so if students were to wear badge tags, it could pick them up automatically. However, water absorbs RF energy at the UHF frequencies and the human body is mostly composed of water, so it can be a challenge to read tags consistently. I recommend using UHF battery-assisted tags for this kind of application. A potential drawback is that it can be expensive to place readers above every doorway in a school to record attendance in each classroom.
Another option would be a Wi-Fi-based system with battery-powered tags. If your school has Wi-Fi already installed throughout the building, you might be able to add some additional access points to locate students in real time. You would then need to develop software that would mark them present when the system located them within a specific room. The downside of this approach is that Wi-Fi tags are much more expensive than passive HF or UHF tags, or than battery-assisted UHF tags.
Here are a few articles that might be relevant to your question:
• RFID Protects Students and Teachers
• Oregon University Uses RTLS to Ensure Disabled Students Get Accessible Classroom Furniture
• ScholarChip Mobile App to Allow School to Track Students On the Go
• Idaho School Installs RTLS to Make Students Safer
• New Jersey Schools Adopt RFID to Secure Their Facilities
• RFID Empowers Teachers and Protects Students
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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