Should schools use IoT for School Automation?
It’s always a hot topic at schools whether they should opt for RFID or IoT based automation solution. Let’s understand both solutions to figure out which solution is the better option.
RFID Based Automation Solution:
In an RFID based system, each student is issued with an RFID based ID card. Each card will have a unique number stored by which the student identity is established.
There are two types of RFID cards categorized as active and passive RFID. Active RFID is not recommended for school students as it emits radiation higher than the permissible limit.
Students have to scan their ID card near the reader to mark their attendance. After this process, a notification is sent to parents about their child’s attendance. This system is followed by both bus and school attendance records.
An issue with this solution is that students need to be disciplined to scan their ID card every day and this is very hard to achieve in schools. The other problem is that RFID based solutions depend on wired readers where there is a higher probability of electrical connection failures.
IoT Based Automation Solution:
In IoT based attendance automation, each child is provided with an intelligent ID card which emits negligible non-harmful signals continuously. Schools are installed with IoT based sensors at appropriate locations. When a child wearing an ID card comes near a reader, the identity of the child is verified and the information is passed to servers and to parents in real time. This eliminates the manual activity of teachers and attendance administrators.
By visualizing the function, it becomes clear how the IoT solution is better than an RFID solution. However, the following questions are always asked by the school management:
Aren’t IoT solutions costly?
This was a valid question two years ago. However, with the renewed focus on IoT, intelligent cards are now much cheaper and can be manufactured in a couple of days for a few dollars.
Are IoT based solutions safe?
This is the primary concern for schools and parents as they fear that battery operated devices are harmful to children. However, these concerns are baseless because IoT based ID cards emit negligible radiation of 0.2 watts per kilogram which is much lower than cell phone radiations that surround us and well below the European standard SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) of the human cell which is 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg).
If a school decides to implement an automated system, it is always better to implement a fully automated system with the IoT based solution rather than semi-automated RFID based solution. This result can be obtained by considering the cost-benefit analysis as well.