LOOK: Public school teacher uses technology to check class attendance

MANILA, Philippines – Ever heard of paperless attendance sheets for classroom use?

Going viral online is the Facebook post of Cavite public high school teacher Michael Angelo C. Maleriado who showed how he tracks his students’ attendance using QR Codes – two-dimensional barcodes used to provide easy access to information through a smartphone.

As of June 27, the post has garnered 11,000 likes and shared over 12,000 times.

Maleriado told Rappler in an interview that he believes that this is an easy and convenient alternative to the usual attendance sheets printed on paper.  

“As a public school teacher, it is no doubt that we consume so much paper in one school year – making quizzes, handouts, test papers, research papers, forms, grading sheets, and so much more. That is a lot of paper and some of it just goes to waste,” Maleriado said.

The 37-year-old teacher said that he came up with the idea at the start of class this year. He also teaches Contact Center Services (CCS) under the technology and livelihood education department in GEANHS. He pioneered the trend at the General Emilio Aguinaldo National High School, noting that his co-teachers have yet to pick up the eco-friendly trend.

“I was trying to figure out how I could monitor the attendance of my students. Our printer broke in the faculty room so I couldn't print the attendance sheet for my classes. So I browsed [online] for an attendance checker online and I saw this app called Attendance Control Checker [where you can] use QR codes,” Maleriado quipped.

He asked for the opinion of his students, who "loved’ the idea, and were all excited to come to class to have their codes scanned. Scanning QR Codes allows a person to record a huge amount of data, and transfer them to a Microsoft Excel file through a mobile app.

According to Maleriado, the advantages of this method include helping the environment, saving money, and easier access to data.

However, the alternate method has its downsides. “If a user is very careless and not organized, he/she could accidentally delete the files and completely lose the records. Also, technology may not be available in some areas making it difficult for [people in that area] to go paperless,” Maleriado said.  

Today, Maleriado’s students go to school with printed QR codes or digital QR codes on their phones.

“Every time they come to my class, they form a line outside and prepare their QR codes. I stand right outside the door and scan their codes one by one. Scanning 30 students only takes me less than 3 minutes to check everyone,” he explained.

Maleriado, who is also a travel blogger, shared that he advocates a zero-waste living.

“I have to create awareness, not just for the readers [in my blog], but also for my students, on how to lessen the amount of waste we produce. Going paperless is one way of doing that,” he said. – Rappler.com

Angelica Y. Yang studies B.A. Journalism at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is a Rappler intern.