Attendance Scanner Program

Student Council roll call took too long.

At the beginning of each week's meeting, the secretary droned the names of the 80 members of student council, a process that could take as long as 6 minutes.

One weekend, I ordered an inexpensive USB barcode scanner on Amazon and pieced together a short Visual Basic Macro. The Macro read a string of numbers inputted by the scanner, found the number on an Excel attendance spreadsheet, and placed a mark next to the name corresponding with the inputted number. If the scanned barcode did not match any of the numbers on the spreadsheet, the Macro allowed the user to input a new name for that number, which it auto-completed based on a list of names in another spreadsheet.

With this electronic attendance system in place, members of Student Council scanned the barcodes on their student IDs as they walked into the room, and we could begin discussing the first agenda item as soon as everyone was seated. Eliminating 6 minutes of role call for 70 members saved: (6 x 70)/60 = 7 man-hours each meeting!

Spreadsheet Script Laptop Scanning