Thursday, September 2, 2010

GPS keeps track of Palos Hts. School bus riders

Liz Exo’s Blog Post:

If the world of education could implement technology to do anything, the GPS tracker is the best idea ever. The article describes how certain Illinois school districts are putting tiny GPS cards on each student’s backpack, and this chip can track when and where the student gets on and off the bus each day. Coming from a family with very cautious parents, I can immediately see how much less stress parents would have to deal with in regards to letting their children take the bus to and from school. I am absolutely all for this type of technology because it gives everyone involved the peace of mind that their children/students are getting where they need to be in a very effective and safe manner. Although this technology is expensive- costing one district $16,000 for 10 buses- I think it is totally worth it. Safety should be of the utmost importance, as I am sure most people would agree.


medwards said...

I think this is a really interesting idea, but I'm not convinced that it's very realistic at all. I imagine that the goal is to prevent students from being kidnapped as they go to and from school, but if this technology was put into use, kidnappers would probably be aware of it and could easily remove the child's backpack. While the trackers would be effective for making sure students don't get lost going from the bus to their homes, I doubt that's really much of a problem. I'm all for improving the safety of kids traveling to and from school, but it sounds like these trackers cost more than they're worth.

Annie Tillmann said...

At this point I feel like kids are getting cell phones at a younger and younger age so that parents can be more aware of their child's whereabouts, which kind of defeats the purpose of a tracking device like this. Personally, I don't necessarily agree with that, but as far as keeping better track of students, I'd feel they're more likely to carry their cell phone then backpack.

I do however think this is a really good idea for preschool and kindergardeners. In my school district, a little girl actually fell asleep on the bus and was left there for hours because the bus attendee didn't notice her when they took the bus back to school for the night. She was found eventually, but I cannot imagine how scary that must have been to wake up on a locked bus for her. If the tracking system had been available, then she would have been found much sooner, or hopefully not looked over at all.

Mary mentioned costs in her post, I think having the system available is a good idea, and maybe having a tracker be optional could reduce the cost for the school district. If a parent would like they can purchase the tracker for $3.25 and the school district could cover the cost of the system.