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PassWhiz Pains

Pass Whiz    

The PassWhiz application is the new kid at school and I’m not quite comfortable with it yet.  While helpful, it can be obnoxious at times.  There is no worse feeling than remembering you need a pass for today and it is already past 7 a.m, which is the cutoff for pass submission.

PassWhiz is beyond useful, but it is still a hard change. No doubt, the new system is easier than trying to catch the attention of teachers at the unholy hours of the morning and being willing to risk their wrath in order to be in their class again later that day. It’s also harder to lose your iPad than a scrap of paper; but is it really worth the apprehension that comes with wondering if your teacher will see or even verify your pass if it is sent in late?

Some teachers do not even use the PassWhiz system, and the main office still sends you a paper pass if they need to talk to you.  There are currently two forms of the pass system at play and it makes it very difficult to adopt the new system if the old one is still available.

PassWhiz has both in app and user problems.  I have my doubts that it will last very long. It would be easier to accept the PassWhiz system if there were incentives to use it.  Paper passes are still an option for use, and because they still exist, people will use them because it is what they are used to.  If paper passes were eliminated, teachers would have no choice but to use them.  Students might also be more likely to use the PassWhiz app if it was available for free download on personal devices, such as phones and home computers.

Thankfully, Dean Jake Short was happy to answer the lingering questions I had about the PassWhiz app.  PassWhiz was not designed by Center Grove, but was designed by a high school student in Noblesville, which means our school has added incentive to keep PassWhiz even if the system is unsuccessful because it was paid for.  Short acknowledged that the application had problems at the beginning of the year.

“When students signed up for it, they signed up under Noblesville High School instead of Center Grove,” Short said.  “We have worked with the developer, and he has made Center Grove the top of the list.”

Why was it such a big problem anyway?  All that had to be done was a little reading and thinking to solve it.

As I suspected, the PassWhiz app keeps track of what time the pass starts and what time it ends, which is very big brother of the administration.  Short said that the time data is actually being recorded in a database.

“If a fire alarm is pulled, we will be able to identify students who were in the hallway at that point in time,” Short said.  “It will narrow it down to who was out there.”

Maybe with this tracker, they will finally catch all the guys who skip last period to get Taco Bell.

Despite skepticism and a lack of support by some individuals, the administration is confident that it will be used more often by everyone in the future.

“It’s new and change is hard, but as we move towards more common usage of it, kids will get used to it, teachers will get used it, then it will eventually become second nature,” Short said.

I like the new change, but it is still a change. The benefits to a digital pass system are many, but only time will tell if this new method sticks around for the year or not.

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