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How Technology Has Shaped Today's Schools

How will RFID affect the world of education in the year 2030?
By Elizabeth Wasserman
Dec 01, 2009—All CEOs wish they had a crystal ball, so they could see the future and prepare for it rather than simply react to change. Unfortunately, there's no way to know what the world will be like in, say, 20 years. But we believe radio frequency identification will be widely adopted by 2030 and will have a profound impact not just on the way companies do business, but on the way people shop, travel, learn and more.

Exactly how this growth will take place isn't clear, but there are signs. Technology providers that promote the benefits of RFID and deliver solutions to solve specific business problems, providing a fast return on investment, will lead the way. At the same time, companies that use the technology—to track assets and inventory, streamline operations and business processes, or provide customer services—will create and leverage an RFID infrastructure to achieve even more benefits.

In the scenarios on the following pages, we imagine what the world will be like in 2030. Read them, then ask yourself where your company will be 20 years from today. Will you be powering or using the solutions that attract shoppers to retail stores, expedite product shipments, put the joy back in travel, enhance education, simplify chores and save lives? Or will you be playing catch-up?

* * *

Mr. Wilson's 8th Grade History Term Paper
Woodmore Junior High School
Fairfax, Virginia
December 12, 2030

To examine the role of science or culture in American history, I will contrast school life today with school life 20 years ago. My focus will be on technology—in particular, radio tags—because it encompasses both science and culture.

There is general agreement today that radio tags have helped school districts cut costs, reduce labor, streamline educational and administrative processes, and generally improve education. The technology has been adopted throughout our educational system for everyday tasks—from taking attendance to monitoring science experiments and securing expensive items, including laptops, Segways and electric school buses.

However, two decades ago, before radio tags—originally known as RFID tags—became widely deployed in schools, as well as in business, transportation and government, some people were alarmed by a technology they didn't understand. They were concerned about the cost and privacy implications of RFID. And they worried about change.
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