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Students Tracked By RFID 866

Posted by timothy
from the government-schooling dept.
TheMeuge writes "The New York Times is reporting a new development in the unrelenting progress of the RFID juggernaut. The school district of Spring, Texas has adopted RFID as a way to track students' arrival and departure. Upon being scanned, the data are transmitted to both the school administrators, as well as city police. I guess cutting class is no longer an option."
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Students Tracked By RFID

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  • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Informative)

    by lachlan76 (770870) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:38AM (#10840886)
    Being in high school now, I'd have to agree with you.

    You have no idea how fucked up your country looks from down under.
  • private schools (Score:3, Informative)

    by kardar (636122) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:48AM (#10840956)
    Again, if you send your kid to a private school of your liking you don't have to deal with this crap - and you'll get them a better education while you're at it. This will mean an easier time getting accepted at a better college, will lead to a more fulfilling career, a better quality of life, so on and so forth.

    The RFID is probably one of the more minor problems the students at many of our public schools face.

  • Re:Mark of the Beast (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mant (578427) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:11AM (#10841083) Homepage

    I wonder if this is coming closer to the Mark of the Beast that the bible talks about?

    How can it be? Revaltions it was an apocalyptic writing (one of many) about the state of the Christian church at that time, under threat from both overt source (persecution) and more subtle ones (people lured to other faiths, such as worship of the Roman emporer).

    Whatever the Mark of the Beast was supposed to be, it was something that existed then, not now. So it can't be RFID tags. Revelations was never a prophecey or prediction.

    A quick Google turned up this [wcg.org] which looks like a good starting point for finding out about apocalyptic writings.

  • Re:Just Imagine (Score:5, Informative)

    by ifwm (687373) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:24AM (#10841169) Journal
    "What if they had spent that money on making kids want to go to school?"

    Ok, let's hear some ideas. I'm a teacher, so I'll be ecstatic to get some help in this area. Before you begin though, understand that we're state mandated to provide instruction on specific topics in a specific timeframe. We also have to make sure that no one is left out of activities, or if they are, develop an alernative activity. We also have to make sure that Susie who takes one day to learn plate tectonics doesn't get too far ahead of Johnny who takes 4 days. We also...

    I hope you see the point. School simply isn't fun most of the time. No matter how you slice it, some things are boring to teach and boring to learn. Couple this with restrictions on teaching techniques, budget problems, and over protective parents, and I'm amazed anything get's taught.

  • Re:Cutting Class (Score:3, Informative)

    by Twanfox (185252) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @10:30AM (#10841723)
    Not to mention the fact that someone could track anyone in the school after they figure out which RFID is theirs.

    Not necessarily true, depending on the quality of the RFID badge and scanners. Have you ever seen those credit card like cards that companies use for secured access? Ever wondered "How they do that?" RFID. While I'm not a big fan of RFID on everything, carrying a badge with such a tag is commonplace for companies with secured areas. Oddly enough, dispite that, there still isn't a way to put a scanner in a room and actively scan who is where.

  • Re:Just Imagine (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:14AM (#10842071)
    Ok, under the assumption that I have that money spent on the tags, I would consider doing any of the following:

    1) Hire another teacher and/or some aides
    2) Buy some materials for advanced activities and projects that Susie can do on her own while Johnny is still working on learning the concept - ideally, these will be fun & interesting so they don't just feel like 'extra work' for Susie & Johnny will be more motivated because he wants to 'play' too.
    3) Buy alternative learning tools that teach the mandated topics in a more fun & interesting way.
    4) Go on a field trip related to the mandated topics (I know - legal battle potential with parents here, but come on. You get sick of those same 4 walls, too. Admit it.)

    And those are just off the top of my head. I'm not a teacher, but I remember very well the sheer and utter BOREDOM of school. I think a main goal of teachers should be to interest kids in learning - NOT to just teach them facts & figures. Once the kids WANT to learn, your job becomes easier. (And yes, I fully comprehend your difficulties doing this under today's laws & mandates and I admire those that are sticking with it and actually trying). Personally, I think this would be better accomplished with that money going towards personnel and materials instead of an invasive tracking system. Kids already feel victimized by being forced to attend school. This won't help.
  • Re:Cutting Class (Score:5, Informative)

    by quarkscat (697644) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:19PM (#10842668)
    (Former?) Ed. Secretary Paige's "success" in
    the Houston, TX educational system was based
    upon faked data. Students that did poorly
    were moved to another school district, while
    the majority of dropouts were never designated
    as such. Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    His "success" in Houston was the premise for
    Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program, which
    has brought little success but much turmoil
    to school districts across the nation. This
    is largely due to it being a Federal, albeit
    woefully underfunded, mandate.

    RFID tags, particularly implanted RFID tags,
    for students is the wave of the future. And
    when many of these students do drop out of
    school, they will feel equally at home with a
    minimum wage job at their local Wal-Mart, which
    eventually will require their employees to be
    RFID-tagged, along with their stock of WMD
    (Wal-Mart Merchandise Dumping).

    In reality, our calenders should be altered
    to reflect that "1984" was the start of a new
    epoch, rather than just a prescient sci-fi
    novel.
  • Re:barcode (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mad_Rain (674268) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:34PM (#10844359) Journal
    Just for the people who don't know: Here [wikipedia.org] is a link to the Milgram experiment. In the experiemnt, it was found that around 60% of people would continue administering painful and life-threatening electric shocks to a stranger at the request of an authority figure.

    The Stanford Prison Experiment [wikipedia.org] has recently gotten a little more press as a result of the problems at Abu Ghraib. Volunteer students at Stanford University were put into one of two roles: guards or prisoners. Despite being smart, "psychologically stable" people, the guards rapidly became abusive and the prisoners had varied reactions, from rebellion to one developing a psychosomatic rash within a day. (Philip Zimbardo ran the study).
  • RFID Craze (Score:2, Informative)

    by kd5ftn (755219) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:04PM (#10849794) Homepage
    It was interesting for me to read this, I actually used to work for the MIS department of Spring Independent School District and my mom is working there now in an elementry school.

    The tracking system they're using only applies to students riding on the district buses (as they are the only ones the district is liable for) and I think it actually makes sense for use in elementry schools. You don't know how often a student accidently misses a bus, gets on the wrong bus, or even the unthinkable happening. However, this system really wouldn't be useful for middle/high school students as they can take care of themselfs.

    I don't see any real benefit to using RFID vs any other card technology to implement this system. It seems like it would be much more cost effective to have a barcode or magnetic card strip. Anyway, that district pushing the cutting edge of technology and we'll have to see the ultimate outcome of their actions.

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