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ibeacon

These are the worlds first iBeacon schools

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These are the worlds first iBeacon schools

Since news of Paul Hamilton's first ever use of iBeacons in a school hit the web earlier this year, there has been a gap in time as other schools and developers have been working hard to implement location-aware learning on a bigger scale. I myself am part way through developing an app to support professional development training of teachers with Crowdsify, but it takes time.

The waiting period to see which schools will be next is over however as a major project was announced last week involving a partnership between Australia's largest independent school (Hailybury), a private school in the UK (Bryanston) and SpecialistApps.com that will see the already in place eLocker software used by these schools to support students use of iPads being augmented by iBeacons in a way that gives teachers a contextual trigger for curating learning content and experiences within an already successful and familiar tool. Read more about it in Geoff Elwood's post HERE.

Almost at the same time we have another UK School who are launching their own project. Titled iClevedon, it leverages the work of a student developer to add iBeacon support for the schools digital handbook as well as location-specific triggers and notifications to make the very act of moving around the school an interactive experience. They are also using their back-end file management system (Foldr) to allow the beacons to trigger access to content for students as they need it. You can view the launch video HERE and follow them on twitter for updates.

So all in all, things are really heating up! Both of these projects are also giving me some great ideas to add to the chart I am creating to map iBeacon use cases against the SAMR framework of Dr Ruben Puentedura to provide a big picture view of where we are starting from (generally just substituting iBeacon use for a previous almost identical tool) and where we are going in terms of aiming for deployments where iBeacons allow learning tasks to be totally redefined.

 

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"We are adding the dimensions of SPACE, TIME and CONTEXT"

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"We are adding the dimensions of SPACE, TIME and CONTEXT"

At the massive Edutech 2014 conference in Australia recently the highlight for me was getting to talk with a developer whose iPad locker and content management software is already used widely in schools. Why was this chat so exciting you ask? Well firstly let me point you to a post-Edutech post by Geoff Elwood to whom I was speaking about iBeacons, and this quote in particular:

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Doesn't that just sum up some of why educators in the know are so excited about the potential of this new tech to connect learning supported by digital devices back to the real world? No longer will a digital resources (which can be almost any resources nowadays) be just a file on a server or icon on a screen, but how we interact with it can be curated by iBeacons according to where we are, how close we are (or aren't) or even what time it is and what cohort or interest group I belong to

I encourage you to read the whole post and look out for some more big news soon about how Geoff is working to not just talk about iBeacons, but do something massive to assist schools with using them as well...

 

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Passbook as an iBeacon app

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Passbook as an iBeacon app

Fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Gary Bass of Advaita Digital has pointed me to a discussion about how the Passbook built into every iPad/iPhone can be used with iBeacons: 

"Over in apple communities there is a raging and wide ranging discussion..with a discovery about PassBook and passkit just revealed..

An App is not required to detect beacon(s)..

- could be very useful in schools!

Teachers use MBP as 'virtual beacon' from their projector connected computer.

As student approaches the classroom..or learning space, messages pop-up (recall wifi is not needed for bluetooth).

Perfect for excursions..the imagination begins to go wild!!

But, better yet, no specific App is necessary to detect the beacon.

Details over on https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6028034#25277013

(warning!! ..a bit nerdy..so some IT speak will be encountered.."

- Thanks for sharing this Gary! 

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Gallery of free stock iBeacon images

As I've been working with my Estimote beacons, I've been creating a series of images to help show what they can do - as I know other educators are also going through the same process, I've decided to make them available as a free gallery for others to use - as long as attribution back to jnxyz and beaconsforeducation.com is given :)

Here is the link to view and download images: iBeacon Stock Images Gallery

You can also access the collection via Flickr.

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Shared iBeacons knowledge base

Transient

COLLABORATIVE CHALLENGE

As is this is a new field, my challenge to everyone is to collaboratively share what we are learning - and to back this up I have created an online Pages document where educators playing in this space can share their knowledge. 

You can view the results of what has been created so far HERE.

> Contact me if you'd like to join in adding to the doc    

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Interesting student attendance use for iBeacons

BeHere is an iBeacon app exploring how the bluetooth location capabilities of such a deployment might be used to automate student attendance. An interesting idea, though as the commentators at this iDownload article point out, there are several issues need to be addressed also such as privacy, students swapping devices or deleting the app etc.

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