What Disney’s MagicBands could mean for schools

While planning an upcoming trip to Orlando, I decided to pre-purchase some Disney World passes and visit the park.  As I was researching the various options, I discovered the Disney was now doing ticketing and other features on a product they call a MagicBand.

From the Disney website, the description reads:

Tap into the magic with your MagicBand on your wrist. This colorful wristband is actually an all-in-one device that effortlessly connects you to all the vacation choices you made with My Disney Experience.

The wrist bands use Radio Frequency (RF) technology to transmit your location and can be used for park admission, hotel room access, ride “reservations”, and more. From Disney’s perspective, they can monitor guest movements around the property and adjust staffing, traffic flow, etc for a better experience for their guest.  From a guest perspective, you can carry less around and have a more personalized vacation experience.

Being interested in wearable technology, I immediately began thinking of how these could be used in schools. Putting “Big Brother” privacy issues aside, schools could use technology like this to:

  • monitor transportation needs (busing) and make them more efficient
  • have an automated system to notify parents when a student has arrived at or left school
  • automatically take attendance when the student walks in the door
  • link the bracelet to a student funds account for lunch or bookstore purchases
  • monitor foot traffic flow throughout the school day to determine problem areas
  • Create a check out system for devices or other school supplied property

What are your thoughts?  Is this a technology we could see making its way into schools soon?


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