Monday, 24 February 2014

Learning Zones and iBeacons in School

Learning Zones and iBeacons in School

I came up with the idea of “learning zones” when I first heard about Apple’s iBeacon technology. I wanted to setup geographical teaching and learning areas around campus that would draw in students and allow them to run through learning experiences with minimum input form the teachers. This would cater for all ability levels and encourage the flipped classroom approach to learning.

Students will receive a notification upon entering each zone, with the students only having to press the notification in order to open the App and then explore the room to find the Learning Zone. This seek and find concept was pivotal in harnessing the natural instincts of students and the q based nature of learning.

Two of these zone include:

Technology learning Zone, where students find and run through a set of introductory coding tutorials. And secondly an Art Learning Zone where students use customised Art tutorials to create art works.

Although only days I have been extremely happy with how this new, iBeacon technology works. It confirms to me that a persons imagination, in regard to use of technology, is where true innovation and magic happens in the classroom.


Beacon Suppliers:

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

iBeacon Technology in Education

New technology providing a beacon for learning

In most schools the students need to find the resources, and access the learning. This is often a complex, frustrating and time consuming process. What would happen if the learning found the students? Welcome to Learning Zones and iBeacons in Education.

Watch Video HERE: 

iBeacon technology in Education

I love new technology and making connections with student learning. When I heard about iBeacon technology I jumped at the opportunity and started making plans. These included purchasing a set of Estimote Beacons and working with the creative Kurt from Vektor Digital in the States to create a prototype that would explore the capabilities of iBeacon technology in an educational context. Having extensively explored the benefits of Augmented Reality in Education for the past two years, I was excited about the possibilities that iBeacon technology would bring to the education sector and schools throughout the world. I wasn't disappointed with the results!

So I started exploring/planning the concept of "learning zones", geographical positions located around school where students could go to learn and explore online learning experiences. I discovered that the iBeacon technology actually found the students (as they walked throughout the campus) through instant notifications and digital prompts. This excited me as this was the first time that the learning found the students instead of the students having to navigate the complexities of elearning portals and confusing Intranets. 

The students receive a notification as they pass by a "learning zone", and the follow up activity on the EduBeacons App, similar to that of the beloved children's game "Hot and Cold", drawing on the students inquiry based natural instincts.

Our 3 Learning Zones include:
  1. The Library Learning Zone where students are instantly given video book reviews.
  2. The Technology Learning Zone where students run through a series of video tutorials to teach them the basics of coding.
  3. The Art Learning Zone where students can create master pieces through video tutorials custom made by our Art Teacher.
There are other possibilities within a school context that will be explored.

Beacons that:
  1. Welcome Parents when they enter the schools gates and prompt them to explore the school calendar and daily events.
  2. Give warning to turn their phone to silent when they enter a performance centre.

This is just the beginning of this technology and I have no doubt others with improve on my work in the educational field quickly and effectively. For now I'm content in the knowledge that true edtech magic happens through a persons imagination, skill (thanks Kurt) and global collaboration! These are the 3 qualities we should be prioritizing in schools throughout the world!

Keep innovating.