As reported by Fox News 4 in Kansas City, a new program has been designed for a high school in Missouri to allow students to control their own schedules by scanning their fingerprints.
The high school in question is Excelsior Springs High School, schooling about 800 students, and is located 30 minutes out of Kansas City. The school will use the biometric imprint system for students to check into rooms during their school day, and during which they will move freely between rooms all day long.
The fingerprint scans are just a part of a bigger program that the school is trying out, allowing flexible scheduling. As they say, the students will still have a certain number of set classes, but the majority of their time will be designed by them.
When the students are not in the class they’ve been assigned to, they can go to several resource rooms with other students working there. The rooms will all have teachers put there to provide help if needed with their homework and projects.
To enhance this plan and make it as effective as possible, the school underwent construction over the summer where some of the walls have been knocked out in order for larger spaces to be created where the students can work together, like an open office, but for study halls.
To enter these new collaborative spaces, students will check in by using a biometric scanner that uses their fingerprint to validate their entry. So every time a student enters a room, they would place their finger on a scanner.
Reportedly, the reason why the school went for the biometric scanners was the familiarity of the system for the majority of students that own smartphones such an iPhone and not student identification cards. Administrator at the school took in mind the possibility for the students to hand their card to their friends to scan and skip class with no difficulty.
As the Principal of the Excelsior Springs High School John Newell says, this decision of embracing biometrics is a move in preparation of the students for the future, including the work force.
According to a recent survey, 6 out of 10 businesses use some kind of biometric measure for authentification at the workplace. earlier this year, a company in Wisconsin made headlines by deciding to put biometric chips in their employees’ hands which would allow them to access areas and make wireless payments on vending machines that are in the office.
Although this is a nice move towards the future, the use of biometrics still raises concern as far as privacy protections go due to students having their fingers scanned.
But as the school’s principal says, the school itself won’t be able to gain access to the fingerprints. However, the school will be able to track a student’s activity based on their check ins. There was also no mention of the ability to opt out of the biometric program.