The first time I discovered the buffer in our attendance system was actually this school year. Last semester, there was a day that I was dropped off at exactly 9:30. However, once I reached my classroom, it was 9:31, and my teacher told me I needed to go get a slip. Once I got to the attendance office, I was greeted by a long line of other barely tardy students that I would have to wait behind before getting my slip. After waiting for 5 minutes, I got my slip and went back to class. However, once I got back to class, it was already 9:36, my teacher had started the lesson, and I wasn’t even close to being ready for class.
After this incident, I brainstormed ways to minimize this wasted time. My solution: make the “slip” come from your classroom, and actually, let’s get rid of the slip altogether.
The two most significant issues with our attendance system are the long tardy lines in the morning and the use of slips, leading to so much time wasted between showing up to school a second late and actually settling into class over 5 minutes later. To remove the lines, my system will sit in the classroom; there’s no need to travel extra to mark yourself tardy. It will have a precise timer, so it’ll know if someone showed up to class even 1 second after 9:30. There is no more buffer time between arriving at the classroom, going up and down stairs, waiting in line, and getting a slip. Instead, when students come late, the system automatically marks them late, and they can continue their day. Again, this also gets rid of the slip system. In addition, the tracking system has a feature to mark yourself as going to the bathroom, to your counselor, etc. This not only allows faculty to see where a student is at specific times of the day but there is no need for any slips to be returned on the teacher’s behalf.
My plan for this project is to create a prototype, if not a model, on MIT AppInventor. This allows me to create a UI and code for it. In this prototype, I will include a barcode scanner for the student ID, a database as a log for authorized viewing, different buttons on the screen to mark yourself as various options, and more.
I have yet to make specific plans to have this adapted by any organization in the future. Still, it is possible to connect it to an API like PowerSchool or be a school-wide system one day.