I am starting this discussion to find out more about how you have harnessed technology to facilitate attendance taking in school, especially elementary schools.

Please share with us how your school has used technology to ease teachers' burden of checking the attendance of students daily. Or do we all have to still check against the classlist every morning.

Has your school RFID technology? Or smartcards where students tap in their attendance? What about younger students who tend to forget to tap in?

Tags: attendance taking, technology

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I work at a K12 school and we use eschooldata. Before that we had attendance cards that we manually marked. The cards of absent students were collected by a staff member and brought to the office. A list of absent students was printed on the daily announcements that were delivered to each room.

When NY state became stricter on maintaining period by period attendance for secondary students, we moved to web-based attendance.

From an elementary point of view it is neither more difficult nor easier than the former method.

No rfid or smart cards here--we are way too small to justify the expense or trouble. Everybody knows everybody else with 175 kids in grades Pre-K through 12. We don't even have student ID cards.
thank you, steve for your prompt reply. at my school in Singapore, we still manually mark students' attendance. The class list is then brought to the office where the admin support staff enter the absentee list into the system.
Hi Chia,

We are not using RFID or any student based entry system. We are implementing OpenAdmin available at http://richtech.ca/openadmin - The teachers still currently do the attendance, but can also be set so that a list of student absences or lates can be handled by the secretary.

-Kevin
Thanks, Kevin for your sharing the OpenAdmin system you use. Wonderful.

Currently, my school teachers mark students attendance daily. It is then updated into the electronic system. However, I hope to cut down on the paper work and am looking for an entry system to automatically capture the attendance as the students report to school.
Our school in Santiago, Chile uses PowerSchool. I'm not a classroom teacher so I don't have to take attendance but apparently it's very simple and takes only a minute to do. It still means checking the classlist every morning but it works very well.
I personally use, not the college, www.engrade.com. It has a very useable format and is free. It archives older classes and allows students to login to one account with multiple classes. Parents can also login and check on the course calendar and the student's grade. Hope this helps.
I have developed a web based attendance marking system to mark, monitor and generate reports and letters on students' attendance. This system has been implemented in our institute since 2004.

Prior to this, teachers had to carry class register files to lesson and they had to remember to pass the files to the next teacher taking the class for different lesson. At the end of the week, form teachers would have to collate class attendance for that week from the class register files, update any sick leaves or approved leaves. They would also have to calculate attendance percentage for each students and prepared letters for parents of students who had poor attendances.

As soon as this system came onboard 4 years ago, all these chores and the class register files dissappeared. Teachers just have to enter attendances on their laptop via LAN when they go to a lesson. The system would take care of the collation of attendance percentage and generation of reports and letters.
Hi Peter,
Which software did you develop? Do you have a website for it??

Is there many open source software available to take attendance?? The Open Admin installation is a challange! :*(

Thanks,
Asfahaan
here is a look at how a high school has tackled the attendance issue via technology. As a student at the school I can say it has worked fairly effectively. http://voice.paly.net/view_story.php?id=7033
We've used powerschool for a few years, but it doesn't add much in the way of convenience or streamlining the problems with keeping track of hundreds of students. I'd be curious to see how our parents would react to the idea of RFID cards. The students have picture ID's already, and in terms of streamlining attendance procedures, it seems to be the only effective method.

Given how much administration has emphasized taking attendance and making sure that happens, really over anything else going on in the classroom, I am surprised we haven't heard more talk about it. I just read the article about a school in California running a pilot with it but killing it based on parent objections.

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