Our school has recently decided to move from "badges" showing name and job title to an ID Card system with photograph etc on.
We've seen the 'mock up' the head had done by a company locally (don't know the name) and to say horrendous is an understatement; flimsy, amateur looking, just not nice. - So, we opened our traps and now we've inherited the research project.
So, we've been looking at systems ourselves, to be ran inhouse (save on mistakes, time delays etc) and if its good enough, we'll even own it ourselves in the department.
I've been looking at the Javelin range and other guys have picked up some bits so we figured, who better to ask than others in our situation!
We don't have plans currently to be looking at integrating with a swipe card access system but the feature may be worthwhile including in this initial idea if it will prove useful later.
Any suggestions on decent kit, maybe even borrowing a sample or something to try and sway the world our way?!
We have a very old Javelin P310i printer for our ID badges. It's old, but it does the job and you get 200 cards to a roll of the film for it, so it's very cheap to run.
For designing the cards, we've simply used MS publisher, which for bulk operations I've setup to do a mail merge (including the photograph) from a simple excel spreadsheet, does the job nicely. Individual staff ones we just do 'on the fly' so to speak. Our ID card is not that professional, but it serves its purpose (I would post a sample, but I'm at home.) We have one designed in red for the staff, and we also issue cards to 6th form students which are done in blue, and also have an expiry date printed on them.
Last edited by maniac; 10th June 2008 at 06:12 PM.
We went down this route last year - mock ups from external companies were flimsy and expensive, decided we could do better ourselves.
Bought a fairly low end printer, A Zebra P110i, which sits on my desk connected to my workstation, and a job lot of cards, badgeholders, ribbons, cost in the region of £350 all told to set up. I have a digital camera in the office anyway and I did badges for 110 staff and generic visitors, contractors, supply staff etc, about 200 in all, over a week or so at the end of the summer term. Not too painful, and we think well worth it.
Have used it to do badges for prefects, librarians, summer school staff and various other things we hadn't thought of initially.
From an IT support point of view its good because it means my office has to be the first port of call on their first day: I can produce a badge for a new staff member in only a few minutes and we do network passwords, sign AUP, SIMS logons etc all at the same time.
Haven't got into double sided or magstripe cards yet but can't see a problem with it. Obviously there are consumables costs but once set up its relatively painless to keep ticking over, and as the major cost is the printer the price per badge goes down over time.
I don't know if you have already come across this company, however we are using them, and the system works rather well. They are called EasyTrace (EasyTrace)
The ID cards are used in the following ways...
- Standard ID with photograph and name,
- Access control to permit/deny access depending upon level of security,
- Cashless catering,
- and Library resource loaning (bar-code along the front).
We use a program call Card5 to design the templates of the cards, take the photographs and print the cards.
EasyTrace Cashless BackOffice is another program used to do the general administrative work, e.g. adding customers.
This system has been successfully implemented in both of the schools I work for, and would at least recommend them for you to have a look at...
If you're thinking of using them for the students....don't - it was a complete pain for us - they were either lost, defaced or just plain cut up - they were used for access control and cost a couple of quid each - and as the kids swap them amongst themselves - you never knew who was where.
You can't rely on them for student access control in any place lower than a college really - the kids aren't responsible enough. If you want to access control based on individuals, you need to look at a system which removes the possibility of swapping, damage, loss etc... Biometrics is the only real solution. However, I'd question the need to use such a system in a school.
We use ID Cards for staff only. They are proximity cards which allow access to certain rooms such as ICT suites, staff rooms etc...