The Benefits Of Beacons In Education
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Solutions To Manage Assets And Students

What seemed impossible once is all happening today, thanks to one little device that is doing wonders in each arena. Beacons and proximity marketing have revolutionized the way organizations work, be it any size, any segment. The very competency of beacons to communicate information to nearby mobile devices based on their location and proximity to other beacons is the key to their success. It helps decrease the virtual distance between physical objects. One such domain that has been enjoying the wonderful advantages that beacons offer is the education domain. As it is, it's an arena of happenings with lots of newer advancements coming up and, hence, the right place to leverage the potential of beacons. Education and university campuses are implementing comprehensive education and eLearning IT solutions that encompass the usage of beacons to a large extent.

An Overview To Beacons

The beacons technology is based on wireless devices that transfer signals to nearby devices via low-energy Bluetooth connectivity. With mobile devices being the undisputed medium of communication today, this modern era of education solutions is apt to perform basic functionalities like locating people and objects within a distance or starting up an action on a nearby device. Beacons and iBeacons have been grabbing attention, enticing patrons for a long time now.

Beacons and beacon-based solutions are turning popular amongst students and staff community members in education campuses. Amongst many, two major areas that beacons help with are student safety and asset management. In this article, we will discuss in detail how beacons help in ensuring the security of students in education campuses and effective asset management. Before we investigate how beacons can enhance student security and asset management in educational campuses, it is imperative that stakeholders follow the below-mentioned guidelines to unleash the best potential of beacons, else they're not of much use:

  • Proper track of inventory of beacon devices should be taken and be intimated to all.
  • During the training in beacons, their placement and usage should be given to all students/staff.
  • Emergency services and how beacons would help should be intimated to all in many details.
  • Prerequisites of using beacons should be made aware of while ensuring that everyone follows them.
  • Necessary apps and Bluetooth services should be enabled on mobile devices.

How The Application Of Beacon-Based Education Helps Enhance Student Safety

1. Security And Emergency Alertness

It is necessary for faculty members as well as campus authorities to know about the location of students. With beacons, there can be notifications sent to campus authorities telling them about the exact location of students at the time of an emergency. Whenever any security lapse/breach happens, beacons can help intimate everyone about it and take necessary actions against it. The safety of the students becomes well managed, easy, and reachable. Handling emergencies also becomes a manageable task with beacons installed all over the campus. For example, if there is an emergency, the evacuation process can be fastened by finding the best possible route to leave through beacons. Even tracking the location of people, be it students or staff, is much easier. There could be mass alerts sent to all, informing them about the emergency and the fastest evacuation route.

2. Speedy Emergency Communication

Beacons can offer panic situation services, in which a student who is unable to communicate can call emergency services at the press of a button. By tracing their beacon nearby, immediate help can be sent. Even in cases of accidents, the nearby beacon can send a message to the nearest emergency team and it can reach the site as early as possible.

3. Increased Convenience For The Physically Challenged

Especially for physically challenged students/staff, beacons play an important role by providing them with secure and safe means to move over the entire campus, guiding them well through the different routes. Even finding locations becomes easier, ensuring their well-being in a comfortable manner.

4. Safety Of Documents And Artifacts

Beacons are competent to store, manage, and reveal the location of various documents and artifacts involved in the administration of the university/school. Searching for such documents becomes easier and more approachable.

5. Sending Students To Other Low-Traffic Areas To Evade Congestion

Since there is a huge mass of students involved, there are chances of congestion at certain locations like the library, the canteen, etc., during peak hours. This could cause a security concern to the campus authorities there. Beacons help by suggesting different locations with the same facilities, where there is thinner traffic so as to divert the crowd there, balancing all places.

6. Managing Registration And Crowding At Events

Since it’s an education campus, events are bound to happen frequently. There are chances of overcrowding with long waiting queues while registering students. Beacons can surely help at such places by offering online registration based on the information given by beacons. In case of huge traffic, it can be sensed by beacons and students can be directed to other areas, to avoid any kind of mishap.

7. Best Possible Navigation Routes

There are multi-level mapping routes offered by beacons that show varied navigational openings to students/staff. This offers an interesting and easy experience to all, by offering them less known routes that are much easier compared to the original ones. There are certain self-guided tour options available that help students in moving through the campus themselves, without any external person’s intervention.

8. Better And Safe Scheduling Of Private Transport

There could be bus services available on campus for both students and staff. There could be private cars commuting during certain peak hours. Beacons can help by providing the real-time data of the vehicle traffic and traffic severity. This can help administrators manage pickup and drop locations well or guide commuters to other locations if needed. It could even help warn the pedestrians of possible traffic coming on the roads soon. It could send alerts to mobile devices in the vicinity of beacons, alerting them of dangerous junctions ahead or traffic approaching at a fast speed.

9. Beacons Replacing Costly Security Infrastructure

Before beacons came into existence, educational campuses had a certain costly and difficult security infrastructure to handle the safety of all. Now, with beacons in place, these security measures can be replaced, bringing in cost-effectivenesses.

10. Avoiding Unnecessary Access Points

Students are allowed access to certain areas only. There are chances of students wandering into areas, intentionally or unintentionally, that aren’t a part of their periphery but are restricted ones. Campus authorities, with the help of beacons, can immediately find that out and stop students from going into those areas.

How Beacon-Based Education IT Solutions Enhance Asset Management

1. Tracking Of Exact Asset Locations

In huge educational campuses, it is a tough task to locate the desired assets in big warehouses. Beacons help in tracking the location of the needed asset, in no time. With beacons, there are alerts/notifications that can be leveraged to find out the asset that you need. In educational campuses, the theft of misplaced items is yet another common phenomenon. In such cases, beacons can be leveraged to help find out lost items and thereby manage the inventory finely. This saves on the time, effort, and cost involved in asset management. Real-time analytics can also be offered by a beacon-based solution that can help administrators take the necessary steps for better asset monitoring.

2. Monitoring Unnecessary Wastage Of Energy

Educational campuses may face unnecessary wastage of money and energy with lights, fans, heaters, A/Cs, and devices wasting electricity with no one turning them off. Beacons, combined with detailed analytics, can provide this information easily, thereby cutting costs for the future. Even alerts/notifications could be provided to the person in charge of that location in case of energy being wasted.

3. Acting As A Communication Mechanism Between Assets And The Data Tracking Portal

Beacons could very well become the communication bridge between the assets in the educational campus and the data tracking system that is being used by the authorities. Large storage areas could use beacons to find out the incoming and outgoing assets, with full details.

4. Streamlining Processes

Because beacons help in managing and tracking assets in a streamlined manner, there is a uniformity found in the processes being followed. This saves big time on money and extracts the best potential out of the entire educational solution being implemented.

5. Assigning Tasks To Particular Persons

Beacons can be used to assign tasks to persons based on the location and vicinity of the assets and the staff nearby. This will help the planning, managing, and monitoring of that particular asset, leaving the responsibility of this to the designated person.

6. Detecting Asset Proximity

When assets are tagged with beacons, as soon as a user is within a proximity range, alerts/notifications can be issued. This can save users from nearing any dangerous object or offer complete log details of the usage of equipment or the interactions between assets and users. With the least hardware required, beacons can help in reading nearby assets and offer relevant information about these assets.

7. Connecting Beacons With Location Technologies

Traditional location-based services like WiFi, Geo-fencing, GPS, when clubbed with beacons, can work wonders on education campuses. Beacons do a good job in asset tracking but with these, there can be additional advantages like leveraging mobile location technologies to add the location framework.

Conclusion

Industries and enterprises like the advertising industry, warehousing, healthcare segment, education domain and many more have been leveraging the potential of beacons and proximity marketing to its finest. The education domain is enjoying the advantages that beacons are offering and it seems like there is much more coming, as technology seems to advance at a rapid speed. As little a thing as it may look, beacons have a lot to offer to education campuses through eLearning and education IT solutions. Keep looking for more!

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