Best Attendance Tracking Software include:
Attendance Tracking Software Overview
What is Attendance Tracking Software?
Attendance tracking software allows school staff to record, track, and report on student attendance. It is commonly found in other educational technology for schools, such as Student Management Systems and Learning Management Systems. There are also a range of point solutions that specialize in attendance tracking for K-12 schools or higher education.
Some attendance tracking systems will include hardware like RFID scanners and other mechanisms for students to automatically sign in to school or specific classes. Others focus purely on delivering software that digitizes attendance data and automates various administrative attendance tasks.
Schools choose to adopt dedicated attendance tracking software for several reasons. A key reason is that it can save time during class that would otherwise have to be spent taking attendance. Most software can also automate some reporting, such as truancy reporting. Improved automation also increases student safety by identifying truant students in real time.
Attendance Tracking Software Capabilities
All attendance tracking software focuses on recording and tracking student attendance data. Beyond this central repository of student data, there are a range of more niche capabilities that point solutions can offer:
Guardian portal/absence reporting
Prebuilt mechanisms for events that impact attendance, such as late buses
Some vendors are developing remote attendance tracking for remote learning. This is still an emerging functionality that is a standout exception rather than a norm for attendance tracking software.
Attendance Tracking vs. Time Tracking Software
There are some generic attendance tools that can work for schools, but there are also more tailored products designed to serve schools vs. other use cases, like hourly employees. Generic attendance and time tracking vendors may also have tailored student attendance tracking tools.
Many time tracking tools will use “attendance tracking language”, but there’s a sharp distinction between products that focus on student attendance versus professional or employee time tracking. Beyond the specific features listed above, student attendance tracking is primarily focused with tracking whether students are present in a given class, on a given day. In contrast, time tracking tools are used primarily by businesses or professionals, especially for hourly employees.
Attendance Tracking Software Comparison
Buyer should consider these factors when comparing different attendance tracking software:
Student and parent accessibility: What tools does each product offer for students and parents to have visibility into attendance data? Some tracking software is designed mostly for internal school use, while others offer external portals. Some leading products even allow parents to report excused absences or submit other attendance information.
K-12 vs. Higher Education: Most attendance tracking systems focus on K-12 schools, but some are tailored to higher ed. Higher ed platforms will lack the parental portal, but will include more advanced attendance verification tools, like 1-question quizzes to validate attendance.
Hardware vs. Software: Many products are exclusively software, and most of these have been transitioning to SaaS or cloud-based platforms. However, some offer hardware options for physical verification, such as RFID scanners. These tools are ideal for schools that emphasize securing the physical space of the school and prohibiting unauthorized access as much as ensuring student attendance.
Pricing information depends primarily on whether the product is a point solution for attendance or part of a larger LMS or SMS. Point solutions are occasionally offered for free, with additional paid consultation or support. Most other solutions require buyers to engage with the vendor to get a specialized quote based on the size and scope of each unique deployment.