Monday, May 13, 2013

RFID in schools

Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest

Vol . 29, No. 5 - May, 2013

The Texas School Administrator’s Legal Digest features an article in May’s issue pertaining to the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in schools. RFID has been in use for over 40 years and has been used to track stock, both the four legged kind and materials being shipped. The technology consists of a tag and a reader with the tag usually being on, in, or near the object or person. The reader is used to read and store information in the tag. For instance, the UNT Dallas library uses RFID for inventory of the books, media, and other materials in the library.

The article in the Legal Digest explains that some schools are using RFID chips in school ID badges to track students during the day and to locate students who may not be in class when attendance is being taken for funding purposes. Schools can also quickly locate students if there is an emergency in the school. This comes with some controversy as at least one school has implemented the technology without informing the students or parents. The article goes on to list several schools and their experiences with RFID technology.

A position paper, “Position Statement on the use of RFID in schools”, was created and/or endorsed by a number of organizations troubled by privacy issues. This paper can be read at several locations on the internet including at: http://www.spychips.com/school/RFIDSchoolPositionPaper.pdf

The newsletter is located at the library service desk and would be of interest to anyone interested in legal issues involving schools. For more information about the applications, problems, and solutions of RFID technology, view the “RFID Journal” contained within the eJournals of UNT Dallas Library at http://iii.library.unt.edu/search/y#ejournals.

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