How Schools Can Use Barcodes to Transform Education

Oct 14, 2020
How Schools Can Use Barcodes to Transform Education

As with every industry, the educational system is undergoing a digital transformation. An ever-growing number of courses are now offered online, computers and tablets are replacing textbooks, and teachers and classrooms have changed their curriculum to better match the needs of the modern-day labor market.

In addition to these changes, academic institutions need more dynamic asset management systems to organize and track school supplies, equipment, and other inventory. If these assets are not properly tracked and cataloged, then schools can face a higher overhead with their already restricted budgets.

Using asset management software, schools can ensure these assets are routinely maintained, stocked, and safe for use, as well as safeguarded against theft or damage. Even parking and building access can be managed using barcodes on ID badges.

teachingbooks dynamsoft barcode reader

Efficient Inventory Control with Asset Tags

As technology becomes more prevalent in schools, students will be using many types of assets, which are costly to replace as well as have different maintenance schedules or procurement requirements. As mentioned, each of these items must be organized, distributed, maintained, and safeguarded.

Asset tags can help education administrators with procurement and tracking of expensive educational assets. The best way to do this is by attributing a unique barcode to each asset. These barcodes can be labeled on each item according to their department, category, room, etc. Then, they can be integrated into an asset management software system to monitor their activity. Other information can also be retrieved through the barcode such as details about vendors, maintenance renewals, and more.

Asset Tags at K-12 and Universities

There are many items that can be better managed with barcode-based asset tagging.

Portable Devices

Portable devices such as laptops, tablets, cameras, TVs, etc. are labeled and tracked. This helps schools keep track of who has signed out the device, what department it belongs to, the maintenance history and schedule, software updates, etc.

tablets in schools


Codabar barcodes are perhaps the most used barcodes in libraries. They are used to label books, magazines, CD/DVDs, and library cards. Students with ID cards can sign out books and libraries can keep track of inventory as well as sign out history.

Fixed Assets

Fixed assets such as tables, desks, chairs, cabinets, playgrounds, etc. that are part of school property can be labeled and tracked using asset management systems. Schools can track depreciation, send alerts when a device is due for maintenance or replacement.

Art Supplies

To ensure teachers and students don’t run low on important items, art supplies can be part of a school’s asset management system. Schools can keep track of inventory and procure new supplies as needed.

Lab Equipment

IT assets such as fixed computer equipment must be safeguarded. Barcodes can help identify the history of use by students, track updates, system checks, cleaning, and so on.

Gym Equipment

For safety reasons, it’s a good practice to schedule routine maintenance for gym equipment. Barcoding can help keep equipment up to date and keep students safe.

Music Equipment

Schools can assign barcodes to musical instruments allowing students to check them out. Since a lot of these instruments are valuable, require  maintenance, and if needing to be moved from school property, there needs to be a way to track and safeguard them.


Cafeterias use barcodes to scan goods, which cross-reference a system for product identification, pricing, and inventory control.

Monitor Lunch Programs

Cafeteria staff can scan student IDs to track the use of free lunch programs, which help with reporting the program’s usage as well as provide data on inventory.

Campus/Facility Access Control

Whether at a secured entrance or for verification anywhere on campus, authorized app users such as guards, faculty, and monitors can scan or look up student, faculty, and visitor IDs for real-time validation. Unauthorized access can be restricted, monitored, and tracked using barcodes on ID badges.

Permission Control

Some universities who enforce a curfew in their dormitories or a restricted area policy have developed a special barcode scanning app for authorized faculty to scan a student’s ID to check if permission has been granted. Setting permission controls ensure things such as student records, alarm codes, temperature settings, etc. to remain in the hands of authorized personnel only.

Tickets or ID Validation at Events

Schools hosting activities such as sporting events, plays, educational engagements, and concerts can assign and validate tickets in real time.

Monitor Parking

Barcode scanning can also help verify parking compliance. In some higher educational institutes, special apps can be created to notify car owners if their lights are on, windows are open, the alarm is blaring, etc.

Investing in Barcode Technology

As highlighted, keeping technology accounted for and properly maintained should be a top priority for schools. Barcode technology such as Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK integrated along with asset management systems can cover the myriad of barcoding applications mentioned herein.

Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK enables you to efficiently embed barcode reading functionality in your web, desktop, or mobile application using just a few lines of code. This can save you months of added development time and extra costs. With the Dynamsoft SDK, you can create high-speed and reliable barcode scanner software to meet your organization’s needs.

  • Easy integration
  • Fully customizable
  • Scans all major barcode types
  • Able to read damaged and distorted barcodes
  • Non-server-based solution works without an internet connection
  • Available for Windows, Linus, iOS, and Android, and embedded devices

Supported Barcode Formats

Dynamsoft Barcode Reader supports all major 1D and 2D barcode symbologies.

1D Barcodes

  • Code 39
  • Code 93
  • Code 128
  • Codabar
  • Interleaved 2 of 5
  • EAN-8
  • EAN-13
  • UPC-A
  • UPC-E
  • Industrial 2 of 5

2D Barcodes

  • QR Code
  • Data Matrix
  • PDF417
  • Aztec Code
  • and several other barcode types

Not seeing your barcode on the list? Contact our support team to discuss how we can help you with your specific case.

Have difficult-to-read barcodes?

Try our free online demo to test how Dynamsoft Barcode Reader works with your barcodes.

Online Demo of Barcode Scanner

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