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Transportation | News

California District To Test Student Location RFID System

An unnamed school district in Northern California will be testing a free system that communicates the location of students whose families have opted into the service. The district will run its test in June 2013 using StudentConnect, a service from East Coast Diversified (ECDC).

StudentConnect uses global positioning satellites (GPS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) to provide wireless communications to parents and schools regarding the status of students during their daily bus pickup and arrival at school and their school bus stop drop-off. Each child wears or carries an RFID tag, which is detected by an RFID reader on the bus when it's in range and transmits data to a GPS system. That system sends parents text alerts to their mobile phones.

The same system also communicates with classroom RFID readers to track student entry and exit, allowing parents and schools to view online where the student is located during a given period.

The system is free to schools and districts. Funding comes through local and corporate sponsorship dollars. Advertisers pay a fee for each message delivered to parents with a marketing message.

"ECDC's StudentConnect technology will allow us to safely and effectively track the pick up and drop off of our students," said the district's transportation director, in a prepared statement. "We have been waiting for this technology for a long time as it will help to solve the transportation crisis within our school district."

Recently, Gordon County Schools in Georgia also launched a StudentConnect pilot.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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