What are School Smart Cards? How do they help students and schools?As a parent or school administrator, you might have explored a lot about school software. School smart cards might be a term you would have come across quite often. Here, we try to present a comprehensive guide on the technology. What it is, how helpful it is, which are different ways it can be used, etc.

So, What are School Smart Cards?

They are basically smart cards used in school for everyday school purposes. Now, as you might know, a smart card is generally a plastic card with embedded chip for financial transactions. Debit cards and Credit cards are prime examples of smart cards.

A School smart card is very similar to this. It is slim and sleek and can be tagged along with school ID cards. It can be used for financial and other purposes such as attendance.

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Which Types of Smart Cards are used at Schools?

There are different types of smart cards. But not all of them are being made use of at schools. Let’s see which ones are used.

Contact

This is the most commonly used type of smart cards. This card has to come in contact with the reader in order for the card’s information to be read. The machines connect through an electrical connector which is connected to the integrated chip in the card.

Contactless

Contactless cards on the other hand don’t require the cards to be in contact with the reader. They just have to be in close proximity.

RFID Cards

RFID or Radio Frequency Identification technology is very similar to that of a smart card integrated chip.

There are two main types of RFID as well: – Passive RFID and Active RFID.

(i) Passive RFID tags do not have an integrated power source and reflects the electromagnetic waves produced by the RFID Reader. Hence it needs to be in close proximity with the reader to pass information. It is less expensive and sleeker compared to Active RFID

(ii) Active RFID on the other hand can produce its own electromagnetic energy and communicates with the reader at long ranges. These are but more expensive and bulky, as it has its own power source.

Benefits of School Smart Cards

Cashless Transactions – One of the most evident benefits of smart cards used in school is cashless transactions. Students can pay their school fees, make canteen and bookstore payments and more with the smart card. Parents need not worry about asking students to carry actual cash to school.

Easily Manageable – With smart cards, school authorities can easily manage students. As each smart card would have the profile of the student associated, it becomes easy to identify activities and track students inside the school premises.

Access control – Schools can provide access to selected students or staff for accessing particular areas such as labs, office rooms, etc. This makes managing easier as well.

Durable – Unlike traditional ID cards, School Smart cards are made from durable plastic and can be reused for a few years. This saves money and also helps avoid the hassles of distributing new ID cards every term year.

Cost Effective – Smart cards help save a lot of money by making your school perform more efficiently. Given this, the cost for smart cards is minimal.

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Applications of School Smart Cards

Smart ID – The complete profile of each student can be stored or accessed through a smart card. This makes several things such as access control and fee payment possible with more convenience.

Attendance – Teachers need not spend time marking attendance. Students just need to carry their Smart IDs to school classrooms for attendance to be marked. Even teachers and other school staff can mark their own attendance the same way.

Fee Payment – Making fee payment becomes hassle free. Students just have to produce their smart card to the accounts department and they will swipe the money using the Smart ID’s unique PIN.

Library Management – From issuing and returning library books to keeping track of the due date and fine collected, smart cards are extremely useful for library management. The fine can be paid by students using the smart cards.

Canteen & Store – Just like fee payment, students can use their smart cards to buy food books, and other stationery from the canteen and the school store. This way it is easier for the management to look at the accounts as well.

Medical History – In case of medical emergencies or situations, medical history in the smart cards would be a huge help.

So, hopefully you have got a proper overview and understanding of smart cards in school. In case you have anything to add or if you have any questions, please feel free to tell us in the comment section.

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