Even as the price of college tuition continues shooting up, attendance rates are woefully low at universities all over the country. Many schools are seeking new and creative ways to ensure that students make it to class, including digitally tracking whether kids actually set foot in the classroom.

Northern Arizona University is using an $85,000 grant to pay for scanners stationed outside lecture halls. The kids scan their IDs as they enter and are credited for attendance. Some students aren’t wild about the oversight they call “high-school” (some wonder if animal chip implants are next), but many parents paying the bills say they are happy to know that their child is attending class or answering for his absence.

Attending class improves mastery of content and GPA, college administrators say, and participation helps students fit in and feel a part of university life in general.  With 3 in ten college freshmen dropping out before they graduate, colleges are finding that enforcing attendance is worth the money spent on digital trackers or other technology.

My question: now that we’ve made sure they’re showing up, is there anyway to block Facebook from their laptops and cell phones while their teachers are teaching?!?