You might be wondering…What is a Smart City? By definition, smart cities are communities which utilise technology to the best of their ability, in order to increase quality of life and living standards. This is done through optimising data collection and operating as a data-focused ‘ecosystem’. In a smart city, personal information of all different is (with consent) collected from people individually, public infrastructure, and other activities conducted in the community. The data collected will be analysed, usually by a computer or automated process, and then put to the best use possible.
Hannah Retting, a tech blogger at Big Assignments and Writing populist wrote that, “Smart city technology allows those who make the decisions about allocation of resources, infrastructure, and general rules to understand the public consensus and feeling about public systems.” Data collection and analysis allows the best decisions to be made possible, and this can extend to the school system. This data is used in smart cities to make decisions about curriculum, budget, and facility management. Smart city education is the future of the education system.
Here below of four examples of how ‘smart city technologies’ affect the education system today, and how they will continue to shape our modern world as they seep into the rest of our major cities.
1: Array of Things (AoT) –
The most terrifying but incredible development of smart city technologies in our education sector is called the ‘Array of Things’ or AoT. The Array of Things project is the largest urban data collection project, and it involves the installation of data collection ‘sensors’ around a city, which all feed back to a single central server where the data can be analysed.
Even high-school level students are conducting these experiments, in order to work on their STEM skills and encourage more students to go into further education based around technology. This project has been replicated in any cities around the world, and forces students to analyse data about their own and other communities, often prompting students to go into a field where they can improve the world around them.
2: Decreased asthma attacks amongst students –
This discovery encountered through smart-city data collection is an incredible marriage of the health and technology sectors. It first occurred in Jaipur, where the data collection conducted in and around schools and colleges allowed rescheduling of the education sector in order to assist students with asthma or breathing difficulties. Some of the school districts in Jaipur were struggling with high rates of asthma attacks in their students, so data was collected around pollen count and wind pattern. Through tracking wind patterns and pinpointing floating patterns of pollen; experts were able to inform educators and schedulers of school patterns when would be the most optimal time for students to enter and exit school and be outside. This led to a significant decrease in overall asthma attacks in school children.
3: GPS tracking devices on school buses –
Some may feel that this is a step too far, but this next development was put in place for protection of students. Students of The Best Engineering College in Rajasthan installed GPS tracking devices on school buses; with the aim of feeding this information to concerned parents. Not only would parents know where they were at all times, government officials would be able to monitor the efficiency of their transport systems.
4: School data sharing –
Jane Ferraro, a business writer at Revieweal and Boom Essays, voiced her support for smart-city technology, saying, “School districts often partner with local government to have access to data about their students necessary for education, in the hope that this information will help them make more informed decisions for their students education and courses.” For example, one data allowance given to schools actually provided teachers and tutors with accurate information on each students’ reading levels, meaning that students received a more specific and personalised programme.
Smart-city technologies and the increased sharing of data between public sector officials might be scary and intimidating for some of us, but all in all, it is actually improving our quality of life. Smart city technologies have had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the education sector. The collection and analysation of data will, if we let it, continue to enrich our student’s education, allow them more protection, and most importantly engage students more in their studies, as we further understand their skills and talents.