EdTech and iBeacon: how Clevedon School is bringing beacons to the classroom

By:Gavin Smart

ibeacon“At the Clevedon School we’re using mobile technology to accelerate education. Though once considered a distraction in the classroom, smart devices are actually helping us engage students in their learning, providing them with access to resources when and where they need it.

Technology that enhances this experience feels like a natural part of the learning process. In our first exploration of mobile technology, we developed a 1:1 iPad program which was used by over 1,200 of our students and staff. Following our success with iPads, we wanted to build on the idea of a connected classroom. I first read about iBeacons used in a retail setting and was immediately excited about their potential for education. After purchasing a developer kit online, I took some time to identify uses cases for Clevedon. The use cases—notifications, location, proximity—were limitless but I knew I had to enlist technical support to turn my dreams into a reality.

Fortunately, I knew someone who could help. The Clevedon School’s Digital Leaders are a student group who support our staff wherever technology is concerned. In particular, a self-taught iOS developer who published his first app in the App Store at the age of 14 rose to the challenge. It’s safe to say that Lewis Smallwood, now in Year 11, is the technical genius behind our iBeacon project.

After several brainstorming meetings we ultimately decided to leverage Estimote Beacons to share proximity specific notifications and resources. Using the existing Clevedon Handbook App developed by Lewis, we were able to integrate the iBeacon function so that teachers could set resources for their students to receive as they entered or exited a predefined region of the classroom/school. Next, we set out to develop a Beacon Management Interface to allow teachers to schedule the delivery of resources via the Handbook app. The drag and drop feature makes it efficient for teachers to set the resources at the start of the day. Or, if they want the delivery to be more interactive, they can also set the resources for specific times during the lesson or as a student moves in proximity to the classroom door. All of these SDK functions were a breeze for Lewis to develop on top of.” To read further please click here:

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