K-12 Tech Trends :: April 18, 2007


Biometrics in K-12: Ban or Buy?

Part 1: The Technology and School Applications

Biometrics are creeping into nearly every market in our society. The technology is used in forensics, government and law enforcement, healthcare systems, the military, business enterprises, and now in education to authenticate transactions, control entry into various facilities, monitor time and attendance, secure access to laptops, PCs, and networks, and more.

According to Anne Marie Dunphy, Chief Financial Officer of IdentiMetric, fingerprint recognition is by far the most developed of the biometric technologies, and represents 85 percent of the biometrics market ("Ask the Experts," 2006). However, after reading The Truth about Biometric Devices in Schools (Johns, March 27, 2007), I began to wonder if fingerprint scanning is really needed in a school lunch program and why biometrics, in general, might be needed anywhere within the K-12 setting. Aren't there more cost-effective ways to provide services for our young people and ensure privacy and security?

Parents, students, and civil liberties groups have legitimate concerns about biometrics....

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News Briefs

Microsoft Awards Computer Labs

Microsoft last week announced that it's making over computer labs in 24 individual schools. Each school undergoing the makeover is receiving $25,000 in equipment....

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Kaplan Buys Sagemont, Virtual Sage

Fort Lauderdale, FL-based education service provider Kaplan Inc. has purchased South Florida Sagemont Virtual, the company behind the University of Miami Online High School (UMOHS) and online high school course developer Virtual Sage....

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SolidWorks and Ten80 Education Launch High School STEM Competition

SolidWorks has partnered with Ten80 Education to launch the FastTrack National Challenge League to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for high school students. High school teams will design and race 1/10 scale model remote-control cars in the competition, scheduled to launch next fall....

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DeVry Offers Master's Program in Educational Technology

DeVry University recently announced its new Master of Science in Educational Technology program. The curriculum is designed for K-12 educators, as well as other types of instructors, to understand the best ways to use technology for the classroom....

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Qwest Foundation Announces Qwest Teachers and Technology Grant Program

The Qwest Foundation announced its Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program, to provide Colorado Schools with $100,000 worth of classroom technology....

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Districts Adopt NetSupport to Manage Student Computers

NetSupport Inc. has reported that several districts and individual schools around the country have adopted NetSupport products to provide control over students' computer systems....

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Coming Up

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies - have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail [email protected]

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