RFID Chips in School Uniforms

A school in the UK is using RFID chips in school uniforms to track attendance.

So now it's easy to cut class; just ask someone to carry your shirt around the building while you're elsewhere.

Posted on October 24, 2007 at 1:51 PM • 81 Comments

Comments

TamasOctober 24, 2007 2:18 PM

The implications are much more profound: getting used to having your location monitored at a young age facilitates transition to a total surveillance society. Living in the UK, it is best of they get used to it :-(

Also, it is a nice example of throwing technology at non-technological problems in the hope that they will miraculously go away.

DonaldOctober 24, 2007 2:32 PM

Shirt-carrying will of course become a social problem, to be solved through subcutaneous implants.

ChiOctober 24, 2007 2:34 PM

Wrong. Absences are more rare (and poignant) than attendance, so it is easy to verify that those noted are all and every one. Coupled with harsher penalties for subverting a system which benefits everyone, and the cheap cost of a chip--I think it's a great idea for schools with uniforms.

Like it or not, an increasing proportion of lives will be sped up, compressed, enhanced, and enriched, and the only thing to keeping it all together is trust. So yeah, I think it's a great thing to teach the kids, that sure it's easy to carry someone's shirt, but that you can't gyp society like that.

Bruce, would you suggest another method of attendance taking? Oh, pen and paper, how brilliant. Millions of school children wasting 2x5 minutes a day taking role. Oh, something cheaper than RFID then? That's an interesting proposal.

Now, surely there are other objections concerning general security and privacy (now anyone can track your child before they change clothes), etc. Let's stick to these mmk?

AlexOctober 24, 2007 2:45 PM

@Chi: and how exactly is the system of RFID tags in school uniforms 'a system which benefits everyone'?
Should teachers have some kind of personal contact with their students, knowing them by name? A good teacher spots in a split second who is absent. And even better: a real good teacher will have 100% attendance.
As argued before absence is not a technological problem, its a social problem and no RFID or any other advanced technological system will solve this.

RoyOctober 24, 2007 2:48 PM

Skinny kids could really make out by wearing three or four shirts at a time. Of course if the computer reports full attendance but only half the seats are filled, teachers might catch on.

On the other hand, given some of the things teachers have been oblivious to, maybe nobody would notice.

mfheadcaseOctober 24, 2007 2:50 PM

Chi, maybe trust is the only thing holding our ever accelerating society together... but chipping kids displays a shocking LACK of trust.

And you know what? People who are not trusted by authorities have no good reason to trust authority.

The rush toward panopticon isn't a matter of trust. It is infowar.

AnonymousOctober 24, 2007 3:15 PM

@Chi
Part of the purpose of attendance taking was for the teachers to get to know or at least recognize the children personally. The RFID process reduces the children to mere numbers, something that seems to be quite against the demands and desires of parents and informed educators.

And the supposed time saving of usng RFID is bogus as well -- try reading "The Mythical Man-Month".

vwmOctober 24, 2007 3:26 PM

Chi, what country are you from?

Where I went to school, most teachers knew there classes and didn't "waste" much time by counting.

Of cause there where some teachers that didn't notice missing pupils and others that just didn't care, but those wouldn't notice or mind a huge pill of shirts in some corner of the room either.

If you think "harsher penalties" will help, then why not penalise absence in first place?

Finally who exactly gains benefit from a child attending class but the child itself? So how does the system benefit everyone?

Regards

vwm

nzrussOctober 24, 2007 3:33 PM

lets hope two siblings of similar sizes in different classes don't share a common pool of clothing.....

Chocolate MuffinOctober 24, 2007 3:33 PM

Kinda makes you wonder where it'll lead, doesn't it? My own dystopian idea would be that in 3 years, the whole thing will be out of the pilot phase, and some schools will start doing it; in 10 years, many schools will; in 20 years, all will, as they'll be required to by then, maybe after a high-profile case involving the rape or murder of a young, blonde, white female student that, it will be claimed, could've been prevented if authorities had been able to track her. In 30 years, employees will wear RFID chips on the job, all the time, no matter what the job is, unless maybe they're self-employed. In 40 years, wearing an RFID chip on the job will be required by law. In 50 years, wearing a chip while - for example - driving a car etc. will be, and most people will never take theirs off anymore out of laziness. In 70 years, it'll be entirely mandatory to wear one at all time, and at the same time, babies will start receiving them as implants. In 90 years, everyone will have one implanted, no matter how old they are and whether they want to or not.

At the same time, tracking will increase over time; RFID readers will be installed in the (already existing) public "security" cameras, in schools etc., and they will gradually find their way into companies, public buildings, airports, busses, subways, private cars, and finally private homes. Insurances, criminal prosecution etc. will also change - not being able to prove where you were at a certain time by virtue of your RFID chip having been read will count against you, and will ultimately become a crime in itself.

JimFiveOctober 24, 2007 3:36 PM

Chi,
Assigned seating charts are a pretty easy way to determine who is absent without iterating the people who are present. Look at the empty chairs, mark those kids absent.

JimFive

ChazOctober 24, 2007 3:46 PM

Cameras in school buses caused enough problems.

Shouldn't we should chip our government officials before our kids?

alisgrayOctober 24, 2007 3:47 PM

the chips are in the crests of the blazers, not in the uniform shirts. perhaps a slight difference. I can't imagine this would still never be tinkered with, however. leave your blazer in someone else's desk during mischief, if you can get a counterfeit blazer as camouflage. or, obviously, switch blazers during test taking the way I'm sure identical twins have been doing for millenia.

DavidOctober 24, 2007 4:20 PM

Cheaper system than RFID? Sure, how about barcodes?

Sewn into the fabric, under the cuffs, such that it can only be read when the cuff is turned inside out. Easy to swipe at the door, faster than paper, doesn't let random people track your kid remotely, and cheaper than any of it. No "carry my shirt" problem either - each person swipes one thing when entering. You could go as someone else *instead* of yourself, but not in addition to... Not perfect, but a vast improvement for less money.

DavidOctober 24, 2007 4:22 PM

Oh, also...

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Movie plot:

School records are hacked, and kidnappers with an RFID reader suddenly know a kid's name, age, the name of their parents, what activities they're in, and who picks them up from school...

JPaulOctober 24, 2007 5:22 PM

Follow the money folks. You have to prove the warm bodies were in the classroom to get the money.

Michael RichardsonOctober 24, 2007 6:12 PM

I was a teen in the mid-1980s. In my last year, I had an amazing history teacher for home room. He was also a bit of an anarchist. For his grade 9s, he did attendance, for his grade 12s, he didn't. Sheet went down as "all present, all absences justified", every day. I never skipped his class. Ever.
I did skip my before-or-after-lunch english class. The teacher knew me well enough to know I wasn't there to give him BS. He even asked other students to BS him like me, instead of admitting that they hadn't read the chapters.
One day, the attendance office called to ask him to tell some other student that they had detention for being late.
Teacher asks: "What about Michael, doesn't he finally have a detention for skipping my class?" The answer, which everyone could hear through the handset was, "Nope. The computer says he has a perfect record."
The teacher latched onto the word "computer". "You know something about computers. I bet you modified the computer. "
I just looked blankly.
Other students then asked me if I could do the same for them.

In an age of RFIDs in my clothing, I would definitely be in trouble. But, what would have happened if I had simply left an article of clothing in each classroom?
What if EVERYONE did that? Isn't that a distributed denial of service?

let the teachers take attendance.
And... let them have the power to give out detentions.

Reluctant TaxpayerOctober 24, 2007 6:24 PM

On no.

I glanced at the title, thought to myself "How very British", then read it again and noticed the "UK".

There are many things we could be doing for our children like educating them properly (to think critically among other things), ensuring they have a good diet, a bit more exercise, stop encouraging the craze for electronic gizmos like iPods and gameboys.

No instead, we chip them. We are slowly turning our country into a sort of open prison.

ACOctober 24, 2007 6:52 PM

What happens when there's a mishap that breaks the chip? These are kids, after all. Do you get detention because the reader couldn't tell that you were in home room?

SamOctober 24, 2007 6:56 PM

"Sewn into the fabric, under the cuffs, such that it can only be read when the cuff is turned inside out. Easy to swipe at the door, faster than paper, doesn't let random people track your kid remotely, and cheaper than any of it."

This concept was used in Ira Levin's dystopian novel "This Perfect Day", but not just for kids in school. Everybody had to swipe their ID everyplace they went.

UNTEROctober 24, 2007 7:00 PM

The point being missed is that this doesn't reflect surveillance of students, per se. It's the teachers that are being told they are mistrusted, that they are lying to bump up their numbers and thereby please their bosses who can then report higher body counts.

This is the equivalent of the Home Depot security guard at the door - he's not there to discourage shoplifting, he's there to discourage insider thievery.

So, Chi and his well-spoken cohorts of mental midgets, there is no issue of efficiency here or transparency. This is part of the process of replacing human judgement and trust with "procedure", reducing all our lives to a kind of bureaucratic rêve of the kind that Soviet commisars could only have wet-dreams about.

That's your future - Brazil not as farce but tragedy.

BobOctober 24, 2007 8:25 PM

It's amazing how the UK has transformed into such a police state. Last week Scotland Yard were caught forging photo evidence. Remember that Brazilian Electrician they shot? They presented evidence that he looked like a 'known terrorist'. This was a split photo with the terrorists face on one half and the electrician's down the other. The catch: They used photoshop to distort the electrician's face until it fitted. None of the police were ever charged or even disciplined, and now they're faking evidence. Incredible:

(Bruce's filter won't let me post links so edit them out. Google for this instead: "Charles de Menezes" photoshopped )

AlgirdasOctober 24, 2007 9:32 PM

Chocolate Muffin:

Kinda makes you wonder where it'll lead, doesn't it?


Read Vernor Vinge's novel "Rainbows End" (available online at vrinimi.org/rainbowsend.html). Technological singularity, ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous surveilance, panopticon - these topics are explored in this and others Vinge's works.

Kadin2048October 25, 2007 12:12 AM

Just because it's come up -- the only thing you need to do to fry an RFID chip is put it in a microwave.

Doesn't take very long, probably only a fraction of a second or so. Works best when it's the only conductive object in there, so embedded in clothing would be great. It's like an EMP; you're putting hundreds of watts into an antenna that's connected to a receiver designed to deal with mW or pW...it just melts.

Not sure whether it might singe the clothing near it, though. And if there are other conductive parts on the jacket, you'd get some arcing there, too. You'd probably want to do some experiments to find the minimum time required, and see if you could find a microwave where you could close the sleeve in the door and only zap the cuff.

Pretty easy to kill.

Nomen PublicusOctober 25, 2007 12:35 AM

I wonder if this is really about maintaining a monopoly on the supply of school uniforms? If you can only get the "official" RFID'ed jacket from a single supplier, there is little to prevent costs rising.

byteOctober 25, 2007 2:23 AM

From the text; advantages are
- "speedy retrieval and analysis of data." Erm... why does a school need fast retrieval and analysis of data? Sonds to me like they had some database salesman convinve them.
- "additional benefit of reduced costs in replacing school uniforms that have gone astray" I don't get it - You add something and it costs less to replace it?
- "limit access to doors for certain people at certain times, including shutting the main doors of a school to pupils during classtime."
Great. I assume all of you work with software or hardware of some sort. So you know both can have bugs and fail. The more complex, the more likely. Imagine a fire breaking out and the reader at the door denies your kids getting out due to a programming error...
- "it provides immediate registration of the pupil as they enter the classroom. This supports staff as they are getting to know pupils."
Oh. So there's this big LCD above the door saying *bing* "Rheanna Myers" or something like that? I didn't know that staf not getting to know their pupils was that bis of a problem...


"We believe the system will work equally well in corporate and commercial scenarios and we're now seeking backing to help us attack a huge potential market, including the £300m annual school clothing spend." A-ha. So, they use pupils as test-scenario for tracking employees

If you want to play some jokes (or test the system), clone some tags and attach them to random pupils. Lets see how "speedy" the analysis gets the fact that some pupils attend 6 classes at the same time...
Even better, swipe the tag of a pupil missing during a test - a test missing means trouble...

Somehow this reminds me of the ear-tags used to track cattle...

csrsterOctober 25, 2007 2:49 AM

Microwave say hello to shirt. Shirt say hello to microwave.

What a croc. The only good thing about this big-brotherish nonsense is that it will encourage the kids to think of clever ways to subvert it. The only problem is that as this discussion has shown, that will probably be too trivial a task for their endlessly inventive young minds.

Andy BurnsOctober 25, 2007 3:49 AM

They talked about doing a similar thing to the lecturers at the Cybernetics Department at Reading University when I was there - until one of our lecturers let it be known that his tags would be hidden somewhere in the women's toilets.

Still, Professor Warwick did go for the implant option - anything to get on TV.

Anderer GregorOctober 25, 2007 6:21 AM

Given what surveillance state our society is currently developing into, this project seem to be the perfect thing to teach our children how to circumvent wholesale surveillance -- by letting them find methods for themselves.

The surveillance measures are forced on them exactly during their most rebellious period in life, there are big incentives to circumvent them (cutting classes without being punishment -- AND a high reputation amoung the other pupels), there is a small punishment if they fail, they are in creative groups, they can have dozens of tries every day, many of the kids will be a lot more technologically savvy than those who apply the system ...

So all in all, this project might have more benefits than its inventors intend, even though for the opposite reason.

cardboard boxOctober 25, 2007 7:24 AM

Bring your Max and Moritz dummies too. And let's hope there's no outdoor gymnastics jumping over a wooden horse.

You can't spell perfidious without RFID.

LenOctober 25, 2007 9:00 AM

@Chi - school ID and barcode scanner. 16 scanned 15 in the class. manual intervention to determine the issue and penalties for scanning someone else in. Less cost less invasive and can't be used remotely to track someone as can be done with RFID.

Hendrik BoomOctober 25, 2007 9:33 AM

The tags may make it clear that the administration doesn't trust them or the teachers, but it will teach the students to trust each other -- with their shirts.

UNTEROctober 25, 2007 9:35 AM

@Len:

Barcodes - just as stupid. Teacher should be able to identify missing students at a glance after first week. Reason teacher spends fifteen minutes on roll is as excuse to avoid starting work. Scanning students takes longer than eyeballing.

Solution? Social and not technological.

paulOctober 25, 2007 10:43 AM

If it's in or behind the crest (which one assumes is typically sewn on) I foresee a large market in seam rippers and velcro, or else single-edge razors to take the chip out from the inside.

In addition, unless the reader is mounted at student-chest-height (in a seriously protected housing) you're going to need to make the back row of the classrooms off limits to prevent constant pinging.

0/0October 25, 2007 11:27 AM

My approach would be to pick up a small coin collection booklet, fill it with cloned rfid chips, and hide it in my coat or school bag. Each pocket would be labeled for the student whose chip was cloned. I would appear to be 15 or 20 (or 200) students every where I went, and when caught would make a huge stink about it until it ended up in the papers and the whole program totally discredited.

I'm almost 40, and far less creative than several hundred motivated teenagers.

The whole idea, beyond all of the obvious dystopian issues, is simply foolishness and a waste of good time and money.

derfOctober 25, 2007 11:35 AM

What if you bring an extra change of clothes to school? Can you get extra credit for being present in class twice at the same time? Will you get in trouble for being outside of class and in class if you leave the extra change of clothes in your locker?

ChiOctober 25, 2007 11:54 AM

I am willing to admit that assigned seating (which is what many of my classes did for several years) is a similarly effective method, which is accompanied by other benefits: random mixing of students creates new interactions. It is without some of RFID's great conveniences, but also free from some of its gross prospects for abuse.

But this crap about trading clothes is still idiotic.

-ac-October 25, 2007 12:20 PM

@Chaz > Shouldn't we should chip our government officials before our kids?

:) Now THAT is a great idea! See battle between NY gov. and majority leader of senate about monitoring of the senator allegedly misusing tax payer dollars to travel to fund-raisers

Mr. MikeOctober 25, 2007 1:51 PM

Quasi-related: I read an article in a "dead tree" security rag about concerns with thieves using RFID readers to target trucks at truck stops. This way they could tell which ones have baby food, versus flat screen televisions, versus pharmaceuticals.

Part of the problem is two fold. First, new more power readers are now able to penetrate the aluminum skin of the trailers. Second, they use a distinctive numeral format, similar to UPC Bar Code, to identify different items.

Applying this to the RFID kid tags. Well of course they would never use a distinctive numbering format to determine age, sex, race, hair color, eye color, etc....

Even if they do get it right, then there will be a database that will match UID to student. How good is the security on the school's network?

Then finally, no perv would ever buy an RFID scanner and modify it so they can track the blond haired 12 year old they have their eye on. See what bus they get on, where they walk, where they play, when they skip school...

AlanOctober 25, 2007 4:33 PM

Sounds like the start of a remake of the movie "Runaway". Children being chased by killer robotic spiders homing in on their RFID tags. Goes well with the "Terrorist Insects" article before it. (Bugaroo Bonzai?)

Dr Dan H.October 26, 2007 5:04 AM

There are a number of things wrong with this scheme, but the easiest way to see them is to look at how the system is likely to fail in practice.

Firstly, it will be computerised, and will thus fall prey to the "All-knowing, always correct Computer" fallacy. Ever tried arguing with a check-out operator in a supermarket over an incorrect price? The real price is down on the label on the goods, but the barcode scans as something else, so OBVIOUSLY the computer is correct and the label is wrong. If a kid manages to subvert the system, this fallacy will keep the con going long after a normal security guard would spot it.

Secondly, these are kids we're dealing with. How long before they learn to copy, duplicate, selectively shield and creatively manipulate the system? It may work at first, but in reality what you're doing is teaching malleable young minds how to subvert a bureaucratic system and not get caught, or how to get someone else caught.

Thirdly, once broken how long would this broken system stay in use? ID cards are another example of this blind, unreasoning faith in things technological to solve human problems; ID cards do not actually solve many problems at all, but once an adequate forging technique for them is developed, they won't half be the cause of a lot of problems.

JaredOctober 26, 2007 10:49 AM

> in reality what you're doing is teaching malleable young minds how to subvert a bureaucratic system and not get caught, or how to get someone else caught.

I was kinda iffy about it, but you've convinced me. This RFID thing really is a good idea after all!

markmOctober 26, 2007 1:58 PM

Would the tags be washable? If not extremely waterproof, there's a kid's perfect excuse for why his tag isn't working. If they are, then ten minutes with a razor blade, needle, and thread, and the tag would be in my pocket instead of behind the badge - until there was a good reason to leave it elsewhere...

Timothy ClemansOctober 26, 2007 3:57 PM

Teachers at the middle school I went to submitted attendance data on their desktops computers. I'm probably guessing that kid with ADHD and a background in computers could have made a living messing with the system.

nbk2000October 28, 2007 4:00 AM

Perhaps the RFID manufacturers aren't as stupid as most people seem to be assuming.

Ever hear of 'Accelerated Wear' testing? Put the object you are testing in a very harsh enviroment and see how it fails.

Put your RFID in an environment of creative, adaptive, networking, and motivated attackers (with no real assets at stake in case of failure) and observe how your system fails.

With thousands of schools, the RFID'ers have the ability to test many variations on design, as well as counter-countermeasures, until they've gotten it perfected to a level of durability and tamper-resistance adequate for the more serious usage.

While it may be true that no prison is escape-proof, there are plenty of prisons that haven't had a successful escape in decades.

thiruOctober 29, 2007 6:41 AM

In a chennai-based school already started using RFID innovatively long time ago. They have used the RFID in the School bags. The Scanner in the School Bus, counts them, Class room Scanner takes them attendance and Sends an SMS with timestamp to their parents that their kids reached school. Also, when they return to home, from the moment the kids alighted from Bus, a SMS sent to parents that kids returned home. Interesting..???!!

MissedSomeClassesOctober 30, 2007 12:05 PM

My high school had 5000 (!) students. Attendance was done by hand, and every day the home room teachers had "cut slips" from the previous day.

Most teachers took ZERO time from class to get attendance, or else the roll call took about 30 seconds.

Dick C. FlatlineOctober 30, 2007 7:56 PM

"Attention All Units! Schoolgirl DG3479 is AWOL! Deploy slamhounds in Sector Five!"

Yeah, here's another technology that's gonna work out like the billion-dollar Fortress payphones vs. the 15-year old twerp with the four-penny nail. But, hot-diggety, them intragalactic NaziCorps'll (a) milk it for a bundle in the meantime, and (b) laugh their butts off about all the outraged hamster noises the cons00mers are making.

usomeOctober 31, 2007 8:27 AM

I'm probably guessing that kid with ADHD and a background in computers could have made a living messing with the system.

jasonNovember 6, 2007 12:20 PM

ooh ok. so now you can be absent from shirt and be the kid walking down the street with no t-shirt? I think it makes perfect sense to chip the shirts. Kids coming to school with only one chip on there clothin is better then none at all.

OshNovember 6, 2007 12:25 PM

Just a thought. How exact are the RFID tags? Do they just tell that your in the room or can they pin-point you in your seat. If so.... It would be pretty obvious if you had two people in the same spot. And I don't think that the point of the tag is to take attendance. Its probably used so that when a student is not in his seat.... they can see where he might be.

For older students... this would be useful in cutting down on skipping class.

For younger students.... I think this would be very helpful. You could set up an alarm of some kind that would go off if a tag leaves the school building or grounds. That way you can react to a child being abducted immediatly rather than after someone realizes the child is not in his seat.... checking bathrooms... asking his friends..... etc. Just a thought.

AnonymousNovember 6, 2007 12:43 PM

I just want to go on record saying that....MAN, as free nations we really place a lot of restrictions on our citizens. PARENTS should pay more attention to their kids, and TALK to them about the importance of school, and if that isn't enough....um, discipline could work...DUH. You can not MAKE someone go to school, or be a good student, you can only try to teach them to make the right decisions...and if they dont--that is a comment on society, not the fact that we dont have tracking systems. If this makes it to the US, I will protest forever, and I will NEVER let my kid wear a tracking device....Did you guys ever think that one of the school officials could be a total PERVERT and track children...not too far fetched considering the priests and teachers that get in trouble for this on a DAILY basis in the world.....THIS WILL OUR SOCIETY AT RISK TO EVENTUALLY HAVE ALL OF OUR FREEDOMS TAKEN AWAY. I skipped school when I felt like it...I may have gotten in trouble--but I learned from it, and got in trouble for it by my parents. And, guess what--I graduated HS in three years. got a bachelors, and my MA. So, let the parents do their jobs, and if they dont that is THEIR families problem...not the worlds.....before we go off on this why dont we track child molesters, murderers, and people that deserve to have no freedom. DO NOT SHOW OUR KIDS THAT THEY AREN'T WORHT HAVING FREEDOM, this message will haunt society later when everything is under POLICE rule because the kids know NO different that to INVADE peoples personal choices and lives.

JuliaNovember 6, 2007 12:56 PM

Instead of chipping children to prevent absence, why don't we teach them in a fun, interesting way so that they don't have the urge to skip school?
I do agree that it could be useful in child abduction situations, but what is the range of the chips? Do they have GPS trackers in them that can be tracked outside the school? Also, isn't it a bit 1984-ish? What's to stop people from deciding to put chips in their children, just as people do with cats and dogs? Nice article, Steve. You certainly have us all thinking.

KyleNovember 6, 2007 1:05 PM

All I have to say is that have you read your bible? This is the begining of the MARK OF THE BEAST! This is the mark that people will take because it will solve everything. LETS DON"T DO THIS!!!!! PLEASE!!!

DaniNovember 6, 2007 1:07 PM

I am on the fence about this. While I agree that children may feel like they have no freedom, I for one, would like to know where my child is if she is ever abducted. Sad, but true this is a fact of our society.

ajwongetemNovember 6, 2007 1:20 PM

this is bull when the thought of obeing tracked is thought of the average teenager lets out a huhhhhhh and he and friends think of a way around it. If you want to know where a student is take roll, gone to the bathroom have'nt came back in 5 minutes go check on em'. THAT IS STUPID BULL THE MARKET USES T MAK MONEY LEAVE THESE KIDS ALONE

BrannosukeNovember 6, 2007 1:20 PM

After reading this article, I hate to say it, but while planting RFID chipss on the UK students' uniform are part of a schools' good intentions to keep the students safe, This is without a doubt a strong piece of evidence that (a) There is abosolute possibilities that this technology could be used for illegal purposes, and (b) Parents and teachers are becoming TOO dependent on technology.When I was a elementary school student, my parents and teachers knew I was in school because of the partnership they had in my education meaning that they knew how to reach each other and that if I was not doing well in my subjects they would work together to remedy the problem. While Technology can help our schools perform better IT IS ONLY a TOOL and NOT A end all-be all cure. Parents need to be parents and Teachers should contact that student's home to find out why was that student not present for class that day. In other words, social solutions are more effective than any computer or technology that is out in the market.

One TeenagerNovember 6, 2007 7:13 PM

I admit there are a lot of sides to this issue. As a teen, I don't want to be tracked. As a HUMAN I don't want to be tracked. I don't feel I need it. As for the paper-wasting on attendance issue... Teachers now take attendance in class on computers. Excluding the PE teachers. And as for the whole, kidnapping thing... People always say kids will find a way around it. Won't child abductors? I mean, really, this will work for a couple years... And then, along with a shortage of funds, the old technology will be exploited and abused without a purpose. So for all the parents out there who say, "I'd sure like to know where my child was if they where abducted using chips implanted in their personnal belongings!" Think about it. If someone's going to take a kid, they'll use the chip to cover their tracks.

Phil451November 6, 2007 9:07 PM

This technology would be more useful in tracking patients in nursing home situations than in school.

JeremyNovember 7, 2007 1:02 AM

A simple finger print recognition device upon entering the classroom would provide all of the benifets and negate the downsides of rfid. In a school setting, finger prints are about as private as ones voice. The price will probably be greater at the beggining, but I think that over time it would be cheaper.

JeremyNovember 7, 2007 1:11 AM

In addition, RFID might be the easiest system to jam. From a device on a possible intruder to a directed (or not, it will only impact rfid systems) radio signal at the recieving end of the rfid system (the reader), this is a technology to be used in trusted enviroments (like warehouses), not those where Malory is lurking around every corner. RFID's are little more than a bar code, thats all. In fact, remove the radio tech from the device, and it is a bar code related system. And I know that bar code systems are easy to hack, I have a 'friend' who used a cheap barcode to purchase an expensive item that had similer box size and type. (blu-ray and dvd are not the same, but...)

rocioNovember 7, 2007 5:32 AM

Hi there!

Did someone ask to children what they think about been tag?? How you will feel if you were control at all the times? Did someone realize that kids are human beings too? I think grow ups need to stop talking about children and taking more action!! Children are experiencing a poor childhood, and this will be reflected in their future adulthood. Their chances of feel freedom and roaming free are tiny. We should worried a bit more about how to enhance their life with positive and fun experiences helping them to develop as healthy humans beings. Free unsupervised play time could help a lot, treating them like farm animals is not. So, please, stop spending money in nonsense methods of control them and re-invest this money in proper equipment, toys, games, materials and more professional staff, as playworkers, pedagogues and park rangers to allow them reach a healthy and rich childhood time, full of amazing memories which stay with them for the rest of their lifes.

Thank you.

isiNovember 7, 2007 9:38 AM

So it just becomes easier to plant fake evidence of location... If i'd want to kill a teacher, to cite just an actual example, it might be interesting to be able to proof that i was on the other side of the building...
Hey, the tag logs prove it, and my buddy over here can witness that i was with him the whole time...

isiNovember 7, 2007 9:39 AM

So it just becomes easier to plant fake evidence of location... If i'd want to kill a teacher, to cite just an actual example, it might be interesting to be able to proof that i was on the other side of the building...
Hey, the tag logs prove it, and my buddy over here can witness that i was with him the whole time...
Sometimes i wonder if people think their ideas through...

EirikNovember 7, 2007 11:33 AM

@dani
"I am on the fence about this. While I agree that children may feel like they have no freedom, I for one, would like to know where my child is if she is ever abducted. Sad, but true this is a fact of our society."

Even if BigBrother err, the UK government installed rfid readers in all their cctv cameras, I doubt the RFID chips would be much of a help either with runaways or kidnap victims. As soon as such a system becomes implemented, everyone will know to change/remove clothes -- either when running away or kidnapping somene.

The only possible use I see for this, is finding your 8 year old that forgot time on the playground. But giving him or her a cellphone for calling home (and to be able to call the kid) would probably be just as efficient. And not allow some twisted mi5 agent to spy on your kid (well, ok. Mi5 can probably spy on you via your cellphone too :)

common senseNovember 29, 2007 8:00 PM

why can't the teacher just count heads and check it with his/her roster it don't take that much brain power as long as you can count

ashleyDecember 13, 2007 8:52 AM

ok,
first of all i am an eighth grade student and i have been reading all of these comments when FINALLY i saw one that said what do the CHILDREN think about this idea.
it's about time.
we never have a say on what goes on.
it's our life! we should have a say.
i think that the RFID chips are a stupid idea because basically we have all the "stuff" we need to take over this system and we arent as dumb as you think we are.
we can totally DESTROY THIS SYSTEM.

~kristen~December 13, 2007 8:52 AM

im in eighth grade and i dont like this idea
i really think that u should have there opinon first and stuff like that
the teachers can take time out of there class time to take roll
the shouldnt have to wear that chip thingy to begin with so yea
if u think were not smart to figure it out then ur crazy!!!

citizenNovember 8, 2008 7:12 PM

I think if we tagged our government we could find out where they're putting our tax money! We wouldn't have the police state tyranny hanging over us like now and 9-11 would not have happened.

MKFebruary 7, 2009 7:41 AM

RFID tags are not that bad an idea.
Its not because we dnt trust our children, but its being used for automation.
More than tracking children inside the school, there are other uses as well, like the library management... self check out etc.
Its like what we have in workplaces... in our offices. When we enter, we swipe our cards on the reader and it records the attendance and the time as well.

Clearly, it does not involve invasion of privacy becoz there cannot be any privacy in a school. When a child is in a school, he/she cannot demand space/privacy/isolation. And moreover, tracking is inside the school premises not outside the campus.

I feel that kids should encourage this idea as the whole concept aims at a Safer n secure school environment, for their own benefit. Instead of thinking about ways to crash the whole system, they should contribute by giving ideas on what else can be automated in the schools.... !

MKFebruary 7, 2009 7:53 AM

RFID tags are not that bad an idea.
Its not because we dnt trust our children, but its being used for automation.
More than tracking children inside the school, there are other uses as well, like the library management... self check out etc.
Its like what we have in workplaces... in our offices. When we enter, we swipe our cards on the reader and it records the attendance and the time as well.

Clearly, it does not involve invasion of privacy becoz there cannot be any privacy in a school. When a child is in a school, he/she cannot demand space/privacy/isolation. And moreover, tracking is inside the school premises not outside the campus.

I feel that kids should encourage this idea as the whole concept aims at a Safer n secure school environment, for their own benefit. Instead of thinking about ways to crash the whole system, they should contribute by giving ideas on what else can be automated in the schools.... !

Points2PonderFebruary 27, 2009 5:35 AM

It appears that most comments ASSUME barcode/rfid technologies are IMPOSED on pupils to the benefit of the administrators...

Consider a scenario where these technologies are deployed to the BENEFIT OF PUPILS first & foremost... with administration benefits considered secondary.

... in this scenario technology would be under the control of the PUPIL i.e. turned OFF/blocked by default and only used when the PUPIL DECIDED it was beneficial.

This is the 'barcode in cuff' proposal

In this scenario:

Pupils have the 'option' to use a fingerprint scannner to pay for a meal when they (or their parents) are concerned about carrying cash.

Passive (proximity) RFID cards (like an oystercard) can be used by health concious pupils at vending machines or in their canteen to accumulate a nutrition history versus health guidelines.

Active (powered) RFID devices can be actived when a pupil WANTS to be tracked... for example when they felt threatened by bullies.

Tipping Point:

In this scenario, it is possible to envisage pupils WANTING these technologies, seeing it as beneficial to then (like their mobile phones) and thus actively protecting it (versus trying to thwart it) ...

It is also possible to envisage that ... after a period of time ... usage rise to a point where administrators can start to spot 'truants' because they are NOT using the available technologies.

AnonymousApril 16, 2009 8:25 AM

Since last September I have been required to use such a tag for my work as a teacher in a UK school. I am unhappy because it has come to my attention that I am being spied upon to see if I have a break without the students or go to the toilet. I get no proper breaks at work as I have to feed and supervise the children while I eat and toilet them before and after meals. There is no unstructured time,(playtime or conventional breaks). My contention that I should either get my statutory 20 min break or be paid to provide this service, has been totally discounted. If this is progress then I for one disagree.

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