K-12 Tech Trends :: April 25, 2007


Biometrics in K-12: Issues and Standardization

Part 2 of our series on biometric devices in education

I began this three-part investigation on using biometrics in K-12 after reading The Truth about Biometric Devices in Schools. In part 1, I defined biometrics and indicated that they are creeping into nearly every market in our society, particularly since the tragedy of September 11. There are applications used in education to authenticate transactions; control entry into various facilities; monitor time and attendance; secure access to laptops, PCs, and networks; and more. I introduced you to the most commonly used biometrics in schools, which are fingerprints and handprints, provided resources for you to make your own investigation into the nature of those technologies and products available, and left you with concerns to think about.

Now I'll delve more into those issues that have been raised by parents, students, and civil liberties groups. All of this is intended to help you better decide to ban its use or buy into biometrics. Stay with me, for in part 3 we'll look at vendor claims and a sound business plan of action that leads to a security solution you really need....

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News Briefs

Kansas District Deploys 75-Square-Mile WLAN

Soon to be Kansas' second largest school district, Olathe District Schools (ODS) has deployed a wireless LAN to 50 schools and eight support sites spread over 75 square miles....

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Horace Mann School Receives $100,000 Donations

Boston Public's Horace Mann School for the deaf and hard of hearing will receive $100,000 of donated technology from 13 different companies participating at AIIM and On Demand Conferences & Expos. Donations will include a variety of equipment and software....

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Chicago Area Districts Aim to Enhance Parent Communications

The greater Chicago area's Oak Lawn-Hometown School District, New Lenox School District, and Oswego Community Unit School District will use Minneapolis, MN-based Honeywell's Instant Alert for Schools to improve communications with parents....

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KanREN To Manage State Educational Network with Entuity

KanREN, a consortium of Kansas colleges, universities, school districts, and other non-profit organizations that operates a statewide backbone network, will use New York/London-headquartered Entuity Inc.'s Eye of the Storm to manage its network....

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ALEKS Aligns with Additional State Standards

Tustin, CA-based provider of K-12 and higher education assessment and learning tools maker ALEKS Corp. says that its K-12 products are now integrated with West Virginia, Minnesota, and Kansas state standards. The integration lets educators and administrators in these states using ALEKS products view in detail student performance at any time on an individual, class, school, and district level and track progress toward meeting those state standards....

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Turning Technologies To Expand Lineup with Assessments

Turning Technology prepares to expand its education assessment product line with the recent acquisition of Totus' educational software program. Totus' technological solution will be released as VantagePoint, a Web-based data assessment software, and will accompany Turning Technology's TurningPoint, a real-time interactive assessment software....

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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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