Smartphones are everywhere and have become an inevitable part of our lives. They have completely transformed how every industrial sector works, especially education. From Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to interactive online classes, the education sector is rapidly evolving. This is one of the fastest-growing sectors that is working swiftly towards digital transformation. Various new technologies are being introduced to accommodate the growing needs and demands of students as per the new environment.
However, keeping yourself ahead of your competitors is a tough task even for the most seasoned IT professionals. There are various new technologies that are being introduced in the market regularly and change how everything works. Beacon is one such technology that has been in the market for quite some time now but, in recent years, it has gained immense popularity in the education and elearning sector. Most elearning software development companies now focus on increasing beacon technology usage in their solutions.
In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of beacons and how they are bringing a change in the education domain for the better. But before that let’s discuss a little more about what beacons are.
What is a Beacon?
Beacon technology has come a long way since its launch in 2013. As per the leading reports, the market for beacon technology is estimated to cross $25 billion by 2024. But do you know what beacons are??
Beacons are nothing but small devices like wireless transmitters that send signals to smart devices using low-energy Bluetooth technology. They are highly being used in location technology and proximity marketing. They are highly used in creating smart elearning solutions.
Beacons facilitate context-aware mobile engagement by sending signals to smartphones based on location and time. They are used to connect and send information to smart devices making location-based searching and interaction easier and more reliable. Some of the popular names linked with beacons are iBeacon (Apple), BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy and Bluetooth Smart.
Advantages of using Beacons
Owing to its innumerable and unique benefits, Beacons are being widely used in every industry vertical and especially in the education domain. Entrepreneurs are seeking professional help from app development companies to get this technology integrated into their businesses.
Beacons are one of those technologies that hold unmatched potential for industries like retail, banking and finance, advertising, and many more. Beacons provide businesses an unprecedented chance to target consumers, at the most suitable moments.
For example, if we talk about the retail industry, in the retail stores, beacons can be used to offer a much more personalized shopping experience to your customers. You can place beacons in the background and they can show the customers about the special offers and discounts they may be interested in. Also, businesses can use this digital form of outreach to the identified shoppers with personalized messages.
How Do Beacons Work?
As discussed above, beacons are the small, wireless transmitters that send the simple Bluetooth signals and these signals can be picked and received by the apps installed on the smartphones. Based on the location, proximity, and time, Beacons are capable of performing unending tasks.
People are often confused between Beacons and NFC. So, here are some of the basic differences between them:
Near-field communication (NFC) is also used for communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm or less. It is one of the most robust location-based technologies that is being used by businesses these days. However, NFC system deployment requires a lot of set up like readers, reader control, tags, and much more.
For businesses, looking to use NFC technology must be ready to massively invest to set up the entire NFC infrastructure.
Beacons, on the other hand, are small wireless devices, which do not require any setup. Thus, it is a great option for businesses that have limited capital to invest. It is an indoor location technology that uses Bluetooth signals that can be easily configured on our smartphones with the help of suitable mobile apps. Beacons are highly portable and scalable as smartphones are the only set up that you require.
Smart ways in which Beacons can be used
Technology is bringing a revolutionary change in the education industry. It is one of those industries where digital transformation is at its boom. Beacons, phones, tablets, and laptops are all redesigning the way education is delivered. Many colleges and universities in the USA have already integrated beacons to offer a much more personalized experience to both students and teachers.
Beacons along with data analytics are known to encourage these educational institutions to be innovative, both in learning as well as teaching while increasing student engagement. There are various ways by which beacon technology solutions can be integrated into this elearning business. Let’s have a look at some of them:
There are various web development companies that are creating beacon-based mobile apps, which when integrated with data analytics, can offer interactive learning dashboards. This dashboard can be used for real-time tracking, creating reports, and a lot more which can be helpful for schools and colleges.
Also, e-learning mobile applications can be used to gain insights about foot traffic, facility engagement, sharing resources, parking space, in-class activities, and more.
Beacons can be used to find your way towards food courts, cafeterias, libraries, and various other places on your campus. Beacons can be used to minimize congestion as they offer guided tours and interactive maps.
For students who are getting late to their classes, beacons can help in identifying crowd movement and notify students about the rush and flow in advance. This technology can also be used to offer a navigation facility to visually impaired students.
Beacons can be of great help in sending location-based notifications to students. Students can get notified about the arrival of any new book, discounts, and coupons in the library, cafeteria, food courts, and many such places.
Colleges spend a lot of money in building a safe and secure campus. A lot of infrastructures are required, with of course heavy investment. But now using beacon technology, schools, and colleges can improve their security without wasting a lot of money. They can simply allow students and teachers to access the campus through an app on their devices.
Beacon solutions can be used to set-up an advanced learning zone in schools and universities. Contextually-aware beacons can be used to offer customized content to students when they are in these special areas of the campus.
Using beacons teachers can now conveniently take attendance and permit students to automatically check-in at events. You can take help from IT consulting firms to get a customized beacon solution developed, per your needs.
Gone are those days when students used to find the lectures boring. These days, colleges and schools all over the world focus more and more on interactive learning and for this, there has to be effective and interactive communication between a teacher and students.
Beacons are of great help in enhancing the learning experience for your students. Teachers can now easily give their students specific classroom materials such as notes, deadlines, and assignment schedules.
Beacons are now being widely used in the education industry but its full potential is yet to be explored. In the coming years, this technology will completely change the current scenario of the schools and colleges. Combining beacons with technologies like Artificial Intelligence and data analytics, you can take learning and teaching to new heights.
Beacons can come really handy in data collection and can help in providing contextually-aware content to the students and teachers based on specific needs. If you are also looking to build a beacon app to help your custom e-learning solutions improve its performance, then you may contact us and we will be happy to help.