ID Cards, Higher Education, And Real Time Tracking


Recent developments in the use of student RFID enabled cards have resulted in dramatic improvements in the ability to engage in the real time tracking, attendance control and access control. This has allowed an increase in the ability of campuses to develop dynamic and responsive classroom and access policies at all levels of campus activities.

Population Monitoring and Classes

RFID enabled ID cards allow campus authorities to maintain real time tracking of the student population. This provides several advantages. In terms of class attendance, it is possible to determine how many students are attending classes, as opposed to being registered members. A common problem for colleges are courses that have many students technically in attendance, but few who are actually present. Real time tracking allows an accurate attendance count.

On the other hand, in some cases high demand courses may have many more students attending in the first few days, hoping to add the class. However, the official numbers of students enrolled may not reflect this. Real time student tracking can allow the campus authorities to note the popularity of the class and appropriately modify the schedule.

Access and Budget Control

Real time tracking of students also allows for the effective use of access and environmental budget control systems. Buildings can be automatically locked when the last student leaves, and suspicious student activity can be immediately addressed.

Finally, rooms without students can have the lights, heat and air conditioning automatically shut down, reducing the campus energy costs. This can be especially useful when seeking to meet government-mandated benchmarks for reducing campus power usage.

Utilizing ID Cards to Obtain Government Aid

Many government aid programs come with strict reporting requirements. Attendance, student activity and campus population information must all be obtained, which traditionally has imposed a high degree of record keeping related costs on the administration. With RFID ID cards, maintaining these records becomes largely automated, saving time in addition to reducing the potential for human error. This makes qualifying for government aid programs far less burdensome upon staff and students alike.

For students accepting government aid, the use of ID cards allows them to verify that they are complying with attendance requirements, eliminating the need for the use of time sheets or other measures that require conscious action on the part of the student or instructor.

ID Cards and the Future of Education

The use of ID cards and real time student tracking will not only improve campus security, it can help automate every aspect of student and faculty life. In an era of shrinking budgets and demands for improved efficiency, the advantages of real time ID card tracking can only increase.

Image by Tulane Public Relations and licensed through Creative Commons.

Joe Scribner is a sales rep at, an online retailer specializing in security solutions like the Val Cam Camera. Visit to view full product details.

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