10 Ways Beacon Technology Can Improve the Classroom

A study made by the Washington, DC based organization Project Tomorrow demonstrated that roughly all US middle, high school, and college students have access to a smartphone (with about a third of them issued by their own schools), and over two-thirds of students have access to a laptop. With significant accessibility to smart devices amidst the technological shift in education, beacon technology is an inexpensive and powerful tool that can heighten classroom efficiency, enabling a personalized and unique learning experience.

1. Automated Classroom Activities and Announcements

Schools can dispatch important announcements and reminders to specific classrooms during specific times by implementing a beacon-based scheduling system. Students can receive this information directly to their smartphones upon entering the classroom. With this information at their finger-tips, students can save crucial tasks and due dates onto their calendars and are therefore more likely to see them through.

2. Automated Attendance

Instead of teachers having to manually enter in student roll-call, beacons can be programmed to recognize individuals’ smartphones and record them as present/their headcount. This can reduce errors by reporting exact times that a student walks in and out and cut back on time spent taking attendance.

3. Optimized Organization of Field Trips

During school field trips, students are often allowed to split up and later reconvene at a specified time and location. Using methods similar to the automated attendance procedure, headcounts can be simplified and direct students to the exact meeting point if they happen to oversee the right location.

4. Instant Quizzes

Following a visit to a key historical monument during a field trip, teachers can distribute instant quizzes with automated analytics to challenge knowledge retention of students. This method can also be applied to take the place of in-class clicker quizzes that take dozens of clickers and wasted distribution time.

5. Increased Participation in Evaluations

Schools rely on evaluations of all forms to recognize areas of improvement that need to be made within the courses, dining halls, professors, etc. Evaluation surveys are emailed or can be found after many clicks and redirects on the school website, leaving students less likely to want to fill them out. Beacons can simplify the evaluation procedure and increase urgency by sending out customized evaluation surveys via phone apps.

6. More Accurate Elections

Encouraging students to vote for student representative, policies, or homecoming court can be a tricky task. Voting tends to take place in the form of emails where students can easily miss the deadlines if they don’t check their email regularly enough, or at a designated location that students might not get the chance to stop by. Without a high number of participation, inaccurate representation and unwanted policies could be put into effect. With the simplicity of beacon-based polling, students can receive instant polls and vote at their finger-tips.

7. Imposed Restrictions

Although honor codes are an important aspect in teaching reciprocative respect and integrity between students and the organization, instances of classroom dishonesty still occur. Teachers can set device restrictions on phones in the classroom during tests, or restrict computers to be able to only use the class textbook application during a lesson

8. Eliminate Class Handouts

Teachers give out a lot of course material that can easily be sent out to smart-devices, as they are already digitized. With quick access to an electronic copy of the handout, mass consumption of paper can be decreased and students will have an easier time referring to the documents.

9. Augmented Learning Experiences

In a UBC study, Nobel Prize winning engineering professor Carl Wieman tested different physics classes’ learning retention by having some classes be taught via a traditional lecture-based lesson and others taught using interactive educational activities. The results showed that students scored twice as high from the interactive group than the students who listened to the lecture.

There are many online tools and games that schools are having their students use to learn rather than just have them read a textbook. But with beacons, augmented reality can be programmed to provide an even more kinesthetic and active learning approach, as students can visit specific locations and landmarks to gather information.

10. Energy Savings

Instead of relying on school security or staff to physically check to see if rooms are being used, shut off lights, and lock the doors, beacons can automate the process as they can identify whether or not a student is in the room. Classroom computers can be switched off or put into power saving mode when the professor isn’t within proximity and AC and lighting can be turned off when the last person leaves the room. If a class is cancelled for the day, appliances can remain off from the start.

Getting Started…

With the low cost of physical beacons and the convenience of smartphone connectivity, the options are endless when adapting beacon innovations into the classroom to exemplify the Internet of Things. Elistik offers an affordable means to turn the smallest of classes, groups, or activities into an interactive experience for those that are nearby. Contact us today to learn more.


Written by Michelle Kim, Customer Success Manager, elistik

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