It would have happened sooner or later: education entirely transformed by technology. It has happened to other aspects of society, from shopping to entertainment. The truth is that it’s almost regrettable that it hasn’t happened sooner on campuses.
A new movement, changing education facilities into ‘smart campuses’, is benefiting students, achievements, resource use and so much more. Hopefully many learning institutions can make this change quickly.
Smart Campus Defined
Simply put, a smart campus is an educational or learning center where digital and IoT technology is used optimally. Not only teaching and learning tools, but even operational equipment and appliances are linked thanks to the IoT. The result is a more connected and more effective-run campus.
The ways IoT and digital technology can be utilized on a campus are almost endless. But popular applications for this technology include the following:
- Simplified payments: Using QR codes, smart cards and even facial recognition, students can manage payments faster than ever.
- Changing learning experiences: By using modern smart tools such as screen casting or sharing apps and access to conferencing tools, a smart campus provides more effective learning environments. Students can collaborate on projects easily, empowering them to perform well.
- Data analysis: A smart system collects data on how devices, information and tools are used. This can be analyzed to determine how to improve the campus even more.
- Taking attendance: In a large institution it’s almost impossible to accurately take attendance. There’s simply not enough time or an effective way to manage this. Card systems, facial recognition or location tracking—if approved—can provide accurate data.
- Managing logistics: Parking can be managed via monitoring number plates, instead of manual check ins or parking ticket systems.
3 Benefits of Smart Campuses
Be assured that this isn’t simply a passing trend to seem more modern and attract more students. Implementing tech solutions can have direct impact on many important outcomes on any campus.
Improving Student Life
While many may assume more technology creates a more clinical society, it’s not the case if tech is used in the right manner. In truth, a smart campus can actually help students feel more included in campus life.
Students can access information across the campus, whether via their phones or computers, and can also view information via digital signage. This creates a sense of community which is easy for any student to partake in. For those who often feel ‘left out’, tech creates an easy tool to become part of a bigger picture. And of course, the network makes it easier than ever to connect with classmates, other students, or their professors.
Enhanced communication improves the exchange of valuable information. But it can also prevent common psychological challenges students often face, such as feeling isolated. That’s the power of using technology correctly.
Becoming a More Efficient Campus
Many of the uses mentioned in the article above improve daily routines on any campus. You can imagine traffic will flow smoother and there will be fewer queues in the administration building thanks to fast payment options. Any improvement in workflow means students and campus employees can get more done in a day.
There’s also the additional benefit often associated with smart living: more efficient use of resources. An institution will save power when processes run more efficiently, computers don’t stay on for as long and appliances can be automatically shut off when they’re not in use. This is all part of a smart system and is very relevant to campus life.
Better Education Made Possible
Some may say system upgrades aren’t relevant for educational facilities if they don’t affect the primary focus: education. Luckily, smart campuses can also boast of a higher quality service delivery in this department.
Information can become more accessible, but educational tools can also be used more effectively. On an efficient network, students can easily access conference facilities or engage with other students and their educators at a click of a button.
Important information that affects students’ courses can easily be relayed, whether via mobile devices or on digital signage across campus.
Also, attendance statistics can be used to determine popularity of courses and identify students that aren’t attending. This can be used in student counseling settings to determine what keeps students from performing optimally.
What Do You Need for a Smart Campus?
It’s advised not to implement changes without an in-depth planning phase. If you need to replace any system, it creates waste, which doesn’t align with the basics of smart living. You need to create a system that’s scalable so it will still be a practical solution in 10 years’ time.
You also need to ensure optimum security for everyone using it. While we enjoy the benefits of technology, the IoT unfortunately comes with the risk of cyber crime and other security threats. Ensure you have a safe system that protects all users.
Quality education is an integral part of healthy societies. And now campuses can be even more effective in achieving their goals of assisting students with reaching their goals. Please share your success stories and ideas about being part of this important modern transformation.