Penn State research group uses iBeacons to help children learn more about The Arboretum — from by Katie Jacobs Bohn


Susan Land and Heather Toomey Zimmerman, associate professors of education at Penn State, are leading a project that uses iBeacons (transmitters the size of a guitar pick that can communicate with mobile phones and tablets) to turn spaces like The Arboretum at Penn State into interactive places of learning for children and their families.

The project, funded by a Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL) Research Initiation Grant, was inspired by museums across the country — including the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State — that have been using iBeacons to enhance visitors’ experiences.

In these cases, museumgoers are prompted to download an app to their mobile device at the beginning of their visit. As visitors explore the museum, the apps activate when they are near an iBeacon and display content relating to whichever exhibits are close by.

But Land’s project is distinctly different.


From DSC:
The topic of beacons should be on the radars of all IT departments within higher education — and ideally within K-12 as well. Such machine-to-machine communications should provide some excellent, new affordances.  For example, one can see how such technologies could be very useful for campus tours, for use within art galleries and museums, for student/faculty/teacher showcases, and more.