Will a Smart Card Make Students Smarter or Is It a Dumb Idea?

In what is assuredly a sign of things to come, the Boston Public Schools have announced that they are piloting a smart card for students, called the BostONE Card.  According to an article in today’s Boston Globe, the purpose of this card is to "make it easier for some public school students to use city services by providing them with one card they can use to ride the [subway], withdraw books from city libraries, play sports, attend after-school programs at community centers, and access meal programs at their schools.  The so-called BostONEcard will also be used to take attendance and may eventually serve as a debit card, among other potential uses."

Since we already know that the Boston-area transit smart cards have been hacked by MIT students, is it really a good idea to put more information in one place?  Would they be better served to use cell phone technology, since most students in the upper grades already have these devices and know how to use them (and someone else has already worked out the security and technology issues)?

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