Iris scans are the new school IDs
Some schools and colleges are using iris scanning as a school security measure, CNNMoney reports.
July 12th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Iris scans are the new school IDs

By Laurie Segall and Erica Fink,  CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) - Kids lose their school IDs but they don't often lose their eyeballs.

That's one of the reasons why a growing number of schools are replacing traditional identification cards with iris scanners. By the fall, several schools - ranging from elementary schools to colleges - will be rolling out various iris scanning security methods.

Winthrop University in South Carolina is testing out iris scanning technology during freshman orientation this summer. Students had their eyes scanned as they received their ID cards in June.

"Iris scanning has a very high level of accuracy, and you don't have to touch anything, said James Hammond, head of Winthrop University's Information Technology department. "It can be hands free security."

The college will be deploying scanning technology from New Jersey-based security company Iris ID.

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Your child's data is stored in the cloud
Some parents are worried about schools storing too much data about their children.
July 2nd, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Your child's data is stored in the cloud

By Erica Fink and Laurie Segall, CNNMoney

(CNNMoney) - Your child's school knows just about everything about your kid. Now, many school districts are storing all that information in the cloud.

Non-profit inBloom offers an Internet database service that allows schools to store, track and analyze data on schoolchildren. If you think about it, that information is more than just test scores. It's whether kids receive free lunch - a telling indicator of the family's finances. It's the time a student got into a fight in the schoolyard. And it could be a child's prescription medication.

The upshot of storing all that data in one location is that it can be used to tailor specific curricula to each child. If Johnny's data suggests that he's a tactile learner and he's failing math, inBloom's analytic engine might suggest a particular teaching approach.

Teachers say that kind of insight can be helpful.

Jim Peterson, a teacher in Bloomington, Ill., says inBloom has helped break down the silos in his school system's data collection. His school district supports 50 separate data systems.

"This is all about building personalized learning environments for kids," he says.
Peterson also thinks having this kind of data will spur new innovation in education, encouraging entrepreneurs to build applications that can help teachers make use of their students' data.

But as more school districts team up with inBloom, including New York, parents are becoming increasingly vocal critics of the data collection.

Read the full story from CNNMoney

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