Connecting everything is the ultimate and the most significant purpose of the Internet of Things, which has quietly made its way to every aspect of life with its infinite possible future. With the explosion of modern information technology, IoT solutions that serve smart schools have become the key to shifting the education industry. Bluetooth, one of the mainstream wireless communication protocols, maybe the most suitable deployment of the Internet of things in schools and education. In this post, we are going to talk about the BLE-based student location tracking solution.
What is BLE location tracking?
BLE location tracking refers to the technology of physical positioning, electronic recording, and tracking of the movement of people or objects by leveraging BLE technology. BLE, commonly referred to as Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart, is a wireless Bluetooth technology, which aims to provide communication and data exchange within a short range with lower power consumption and cost as compared to Classic Bluetooth.
Since the Bluetooth version has been updated to Bluetooth 5, BLE has become the most widely used technology in indoor positioning applications such as asset tracking and personnel location tracking. BLE location tracking solution can be easily integrated with Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other portable equipment with built-in Bluetooth capabilities. Due to its easy implementation, BLE solutions are turning popular and widely adopted in indoor environments such as shopping malls, airports, hospitals, etc.
How does BLE student location tracking work
The BLE location tracking system usually establishes its own wireless network by combining Bluetooth beacons and gateways. Generally, BLE gateways are installed in fixed locations of school facilities and school buses, and students wear BLE-enabled student ID cards or smart wearable devices.
On school facilities
- Whenever students enter the school premise, the BLE gateway will detect and identify their IDs.
- The gateway collects their location and attendance data and sends the information to the cloud.
- After processing and matching with the existing data, the school can mark the students’ attendance, and track their location on smartphones or computers. This information can be available to parents via their smartphones.
On school bus
- Whenever the student gets on the bus, the driver’s tablet detects the student’s beacon, and the parents and school server will be notified.
- Notifications as the bus starts and estimated time of arrival for students’ stops will be sent to their parents.
- Parents can track the bus in real time for a complete trip, and driver SOS for emergency updates.
- The bus reaches school, the child checks out, and parents are notified.
Benefits of BLE beacon position tracking solution
Bluetooth technology has a positive impact on the positioning and security of students across school premises. The BLE-based student location tracking solution maximizes student location visibility during commuting or school hours. Moreover, the technology has immense potential to shape smart schools by gathering student location data. Here, we have selected the top ten critical benefits of deploying the BLE location tracking solution.
1. Real-time child location tracking with history
Real-time child location tracking must be a major benefit that we cannot ignore. As the safety of the students is one of the primary concerns of parents and school officials, it’s of utmost importance to monitor their locations in real time. With BLE-Based student location tracking solution, school administrators are enabled to pinpoint the current location of the students at any time, and query the whereabouts and activities of students within a set period of time.
2. Automatic and touch-less classroom attendance
Gone are the days of manually counting student attendance before class, with teachers now able to monitor student attendance via their smartphones. Smart gateways equipped with Bluetooth capabilities are placed in a physical position in the classroom to collect the attendance data of students. Not only can teachers receive an instant and automated report of who attended, but also they can analyze the data to identify students’ interests and hobbies.
3. Quickly respond to and manage emergency situations
When students encounter an emergency such as falling, feeling unwell, being bullied, etc., they can long press the panic button on their student ID card or smart wearable device to trigger an alarm. School administrators are immediately notified and determine the identity and location of the student, allowing quick assignment of school security personnel for assistance.
4. Enhanced school access control
The benefits associated with using a BLE student location tracking solution are much more than just tracking student position. It can also be used to strengthen the access control of schools. By detecting unauthorized student access and the reuse of the same student ID card, access from off-school personnel access can be effectively managed.
5. Seamless communication via smartphones
Parents are always concerned about whether their children get on the school bus in time or get to school safely. BLE beacon location tracking makes it more accessible for parents to receive notifications and updates about the whereabouts of the students via their smartphones. It gives parents a better understanding of their kids’ transportation and school attendance.
6. Better management of registrations and crowds at events
School is a place where many activities and events are held such as baseball games, book week celebrations, teachers’ day, family sports day, etc. Since there is a huge mass of students involved, chances are that students need to wait in long queues while registering or joining an event. By collecting the students’ location data with BLE beacons, school staff can divert the crowd to other areas where traffic is thinner, avoiding accidents caused by overcrowding.
7. Best possible navigation routes
In large schools, it is a tough task to find your desired destination. With a complete screen showing the locations of students and school staff, you can find the best navigation route to your desired school facility. There are also some options for self-guided school tours, which can help students move around the school without any outside intervention.
8. Boosting convenience for the physically challenged
The BLE beacon location tracking provides many conveniences for the physically challenged student or staff, and it plays an important role in guiding and helping them to move safely and comfortably on school premises. They can feel at ease to find the destination they want to go to and select the most suitable route in a comfortable manner. In case of an emergency, they can get instant help by tapping the panic button on their student ID cards or smart wearable devices.
9. Setting up the virtual fence for the dangerous zone
Some school areas are restricted to students for safety reasons, such as rooftops, ponds, and construction sites. By installing BLE gateways in these areas, school staff can be immediately notified that someone has entered a dangerous area when a student’s ID card is detected here. The name and location of the student corresponding to this student ID will be matched quickly, and school staff can take prompt actions to prevent such behavior.
10. Effective staff and asset management
The BLE student location tracking solution can be also applied to the tracking of school staff and assets. A comprehensive location tracking solution for schools can effectively manage students, employees, and school assets, enabling them to efficiently manage school personnel and different types of school assets through real-time location data and analysis.
Why BLE is a good option for location tracking
Currently, there are several existing technologies available for real-time location tracking, including GPS, RFID, WiFi, and BLE. Why do most schools prefer BLE solutions for student location tracking? It mainly depends on the advantages of BLE tracking solutions. As compared to the other technologies, BLE has more advantages such as easy integration with other technologies like the cloud.
- Low cost: RFID and WiFi tracking solutions are relatively expensive to set up in multiple locations and require constant supervision, while Bluetooth is more cost-effective.
- High accuracy: Though GPS is available to track school buses, it’s difficult to locate the students inside classrooms and school premises where the signals can be weak.
- Scalability: BLE technology can be flexibly integrated with smart wearable devices and student ID cards to provide additional capabilities beyond location tracking, such as temperature measurement.
- Versatility: Long-term school informatization has accumulated a large number of Bluetooth devices. Due to the universal Bluetooth protocol and low power consumption, the smart school beacon product with low cost is more conducive to being produced and popularized in the global scope.
- User–friendly: The radiation of Bluetooth is only 1% of that of WiFi, which is more suitable for students in the physical development stage.
Track everything at your school with MOKOBlue
BLE-enabled student location tracking makes it more accessible for schools and parents to monitor the kids whereabouts and activities. Apart from the benefits we’ve shown above, Bluetooth technology has a lot more potential to offer. MOKOBlue, based on the Internet of Things and Bluetooth Low Energy technology, is a technology company that provides Bluetooth hardware and solutions to customers worldwide. We can provide you with flexible, accurate, and scalable Bluetooth solutions according to your specific needs. Please contact our experts for more information!