Topic 5

School Registration Systems

  • Used to record attendance
  • Used for health and safety- who is in the building and who isn't
  • Used to discourage truency
  • Used to provide statistics to be used in comparisons with other schools

Old paper-based systems used paper registers- teachers recorded marks next to students' names and was manually added up by a teacher. 


  • Registers were often left unattended, meaning they could be altered
  • Mistakes in register entry meant registers can be hard to understand
  • Statistics for attendace tend to only be produced each term
  • Teachers were responsible from the accuracy of the registers
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Computer-based methods of registration features


  • Capturing student attendance automatically
  • Very fast recording of student details
  • Avoiding the misuse of attendance details
  • Enabling morning and afternoon attendance to be recorded by each lesson
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Ability to work with other ICT systems used in school
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OMR (Optical Mark Recognition)

OMR works by teachers shading in boxes on forms, which are then batched together and sent for reading by an optical mark reader. Reports can be produced from the system.


  • The OMR reader is cheap
  • Can be used for other purposes


  • The registers need to be physically passed to administration
  • The OMR sheets can be easily damaged when folded, meaning they can't be read
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Smart Cards

Smart cards USE A CHIP and are read by a reader to record attendance.


  • Can be used for other purposes, such as the school canteen
  • Saves the teacher time as the student swipes themself in


  • Open to abuse
  • Can be easily lost or forgotten
  • Can be expensive to set up
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Swipe Cards

Swipe cards are plastic cards, like credit cards, which contain a MAGNETIC ***** with data on it. Students swipe their card through a reader and their attendance is recorded.


  • Not as expensive as the smart card set up
  • Saves teacher time- not having to take a register


  • Open to abuse
  • May be lost, stolen or forgotten
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Biometric Methods

Biometric methods include fingerprinting and retinal scanning. 


  • There is nothing, such as a card, for a student to forget
  • You have to be there to register so no one else can do it for you and it cannot be altered
  • Performed in real time so the system knows exactly who has registered and when


  • They are expensive
  • There are privacy issues, some people object to fingerprinting systems
  • Total relience on the ICT system
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Management Information Systems (MIS) in schools

MIS supply information to managers and other staff to enable them to make effective decisions.

Examples for uses for MIS in schools:

  • To work out how many students are joining a year and to put them into groups
  • To decide whether or not a new teacher should be employed
  • To work out the best way of allocating teachers and classrooms
  • To decide on how best to spend the training budget to keep teachers up-to-date
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Advantages and Disadvantages of MIS


  • They reduce the workload for teachers in the classroom and in the school office
  • They can provide up-to-date information for parents
  • They can support decision making for school managers
  • They can tackle truancy effectively
  • They can be used to plan timetables


  • The software is expensive to buy
  • Student data is personal so there must no be unauthorised acces
  • The software is complex so all staff need training
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Data logging

Data logging is where readings are taken regularly over a period of time using sensors

The main features of data logging are:

  • The readings are taken automatically, there is no need for a human to be present- cheaper
  • You can set the logging period- total time over which the reading will be collected
  • The sensors can be put in remote locations
  • Data can be stored and processed by a computer
  • The data can be analysed and graphs and charts can be drawn
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Advantages and disadvantages of data logging


  • Readings always taken at exactly the right time
  • Do not need anyone to take the reading
  • No human error when taking readings
  • The system does not forget to take a reading
  • Readings can be taken faster
  • Can be situated in inhospitible places e.g. North Pole
  • Readings can be taken 24/7


  • Equipment malfunction can cause wrong readings
  • Equipment is expensive
  • Training is needed to have expertise setting up the equipment
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Sensors are used to detect and measure physical quantities. Some examples:

  • Temperature/ heat sensors- can be used in experiments such as investigating the cooling of a hot drink in different thickness of cardboard cup. Heat sensors can be used to control a heating system in a home or classroom
  • Light sensors- detect the brightness of light. Can be used to see how light levels affect the growth of a plant. They can be used to control lights that come on automatically when it's dark
  • Sound sensors- measure the loudness of a sound. Can be used in noise disputes
  • Pressure sensors- barometric pressure sensors measure air pressure; other pressure sensors measure depth of liquid or something pressing on them
  • Humidity sensors- these measure the moisture in the air
  • Passive infrared sensors (PIRs)- these are the sensors used in schools and homes to detect movement
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Control Systems

The main components of a control system are:

  • Sensors- the input devices that send data to the computer processor
  • Computer/ processor- uses a control program to decide what action to take when it receives data
  • Output devices- such as lights, heaters, sprinklers, controlled from the system

They work by using a series of 0's and 1's. A sensor will detect a particular occurence and respond appropriately. These are known as input bits. Output bits control output devices and use 0's and 1's as well.

Examples of simple control systems:

  • Security light system
  • Burglar alarm system
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Advantages and disadvantages of control systems


  • It can operate continuously
  • It is cheaper- no need to pay wages
  • It can work in dangerous places (e.g. a robot to remove a bomb)
  • It is easy to change the way the device works by reprogramming it
  • It can react quickly to changes in conditions


  • The initial cost of equipment is high
  • The equipment can go wrong
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