Beacon technology has been adopted by some campus stores because of its potential for proximity marketing. Institutions are starting to find ways to make the technology work in the classroom as well.
Beacons emit short-range Bluetooth signals to mobile apps that allow retailers to deliver location-based content, such as sales and directions to certain merchandise. Colleges and universities have found the technology useful in helping students navigate the campus, tracking attendance, granting access to buildings, and identifying where students are during an emergency.
They are also being used to restrict Wi-Fi access to students’ mobile devices when the professor enters the room.
“Coupled with the growth in use of mobile devices by students and academics, beacons have significant potential to dramatically transform learning by offering new ways to students to interact with their peers and tutors,” researchers from Sheffield Hallam University in England wrote in a Research in LearningTechnology abstract. “The potential benefits of beacons suggest that they are powerful, yet simple, unobtrusive and flexible technology that can be applied to a wide variety of situations within higher education.”