Tracking students with smartphones and NFC tech

ScholarChip adds NFC support to electronic student tracking system. In the near term, NFC tech may be better suited to student check-ins than the check-out counter.
Written by Mari Silbey, Contributor

So much for Ferris Bueller’s day off. Education technology company ScholarChip has made a business out of checking students in electronically at schools, for events, on buses and more. Traditionally ScholarChip has relied on kiosks for attendance check-ins, but the company is now adding support for Android phones equipped with near-field communication (NFC) capabilities, or short-distance wireless technology. NFC phones will be able to read all ScholarChip tokens including smart cards, fobs and paper tags.

The goal with ScholarChip’s School Safety and Operations (SSOS) platform is to make it easy for teachers and staff to track students on school territory. The technology certainly has safety implications, ensuring only authorized people make it on to campus, and that kids get to the places they’re supposed to go. Yet electronic check-ins at school do have a bit of that big brother feel. And for anyone whoever skipped a class in high school, the technology just might send a little shiver down the spine.

With the addition of NFC support, ScholarChip is making it so that program administrators can exchange kiosks for smartphones to process student tokens. The company sells the platform to K-12 schools, but also to the college and university market.

Some mobile payment advocates have pushed NFC technology in recent years as a way to simplify the in-person sales process. However, others expect that adoption of NFC payments is still several years off, if it comes at all. The near-term future for near-field communications may be in check-ins, not check-outs.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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