ScholarChip Brings NFC to Schools

ScholarChip-nfc-rfid-blogThe student ID card provider–ScholarChip’s School Safety and Operations platform is already enabling students to utilize radio frequency identification cards or fobs to check into classrooms, cafeterias or other sites on their campus. Now, new functionality—which the company released this spring—will allow the school’s staff to employ Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones or tablets to capture information from student ID cards. This enables the school to track the students as they ride buses, attend field trips or visit other locations outside classrooms.

Each card or fob, manufactured by ScholarChip, has an embedded RFID tag made with a Mifare chip supplied by NXP Semiconductors. The tag, which is compliant with NFC standards, can be used not only to track student attendance, but also, in some cases, to make purchases within schools.

Now, using an Android-based, NFC-enabled phone or tablet, a school could provide some of its employees with the ability to read students’ tags in a more mobile environment, such as on playgrounds, in hallways or on buses.

One district with plans to begin piloting the mobile solution is the Westbury School District, on Long Island, N.Y., which already uses the ScholarChip system at all of its public schools. A total of 4,600 students currently carry the ScholarChip cards, and 700 employees also utilize them for access control.

The technology has not only helped the school district to reduce the incidence of class-cutting, but has also enabled it to contact parents immediately upon determining that a child has not reported to school, rather than waiting for teachers’ attendance records.