Tracking students by cell

Schools use GPS tracking in modern cellphones to track movements, offer security.

Students, like many of us, are trading in privacy for security and other perks that go along with owning a state-of-the-art cellphone. An article in eSchool News reports that some colleges are using students' cellphones to track their movement and facilitate communication. Along with the GPS tracking system on cellphones, schools are also dumping their land lines entirely and installing wireless systems, as well.

Nine out of 10 college students have replaced a landline connection with cell phones, and colleges are struggling to maintain communication with them.

"Communicating with students on a regular basis has become a challenge, and schools are looking for ways to address that issue as well as safety," said Patricia Scott, a spokeswoman for ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is another viable option with the spread of broadband access on campuses, but students seem to gravitate more towards the cellphone.

At Montclair University, students using the cellphone service have the ability to check class assignments, learn about specials at campus restaurants, track the location of school shuttle buses through GPS technology, and a "Guardian" security service. The service cost starts at $186 per semester.