A Full House? ID cards in education
Posted April 18, 2011on:
So, how do you get students and staff to remember their ID card for use in the library, well you use it for as many important things as possible!
I’ve just returned from visiting the Richard Rose Academy in Carlisle: a new purpose-built school which opened earlier this year. The thinking that has gone into the planning for the building is obvious and is seemingly reaping rewards.
Technology is all over the place but used appropriately. For example, when we arrived at the school we were greeted with a touch screen computer asking for our names and where we were from. It then took a very bad picture, logged us as being on the premises and printed us a visitors pass. Apparently if the fire alarm had gone off whilst we were in the building this system would automatically produce a list of who it thought was in the building presumably accompanied by said awful photograph! Much more efficient than wading through piles of the traditional paper-based visitors pass books.
So, getting back to ID cards, just what can you link to the same ID card as the library system? Well, firstly the student attendance system. When they get to the school, students and staff swipe in to register their presence in the building. Students can then go into the main area of the building and add money to the card to use for their refreshments whilst they are on the premises (or they can add money online through the “Parent Pay” system or even Paypal!). Those with “free” lunches get a credit on their account every day which is automatically debited if not used and cannot be accrued. These cashless systems are all part of encouraging students to take responsibility for their economic wellbeing. Parents can even see what their children have purchased through the system during the day to keep an eye on their junk food intake!
So what else, well when they want to borrow a laptop they are available from the laptop lockers controlled by their (guess what!) ID cards! When the ID card is swiped, the lockers open the door to the laptop that has the most charge in the battery. Swiping the card again opens the same door for the student to return the laptop. Printing is also monitored and controlled through the cards as is access to certain areas of the building using an Access Control system and the disabled lifts are also activated by the ID cards.
Without an ID card it would be extremely difficult to get anything done within this academy.
There is still no guarantee that students will display their cards whilst they are on the premises though!