Kieran McDonald

Exploring the transformative potential of bluetooth beacons in higher education


Output: Journal Article

Smartphones and tablet devices have become ubiquitous and fully integrated into personal, social and domestic life. The permanence of technology has facilitated expansive communication channels and suggests affordance for academics and students in a learning and teaching context. Higher education has been actively considering the potential possibilities of exploiting these tools and utilising technological infrastructure networks.

Crucially the academic home for creative students in Art & Design is often based around an educational studio space, to consolidate and expand knowledge and enhance learning gain in a higher education learning and teaching environment. This output reflects on a learning and teaching intervention developed in a contemporary higher education Art & Design school, conducted by the researchers utilising technology and place. The intention was to develop and situate a community of practice in Art & Design studio spaces both physically and virtually, utilising the physical space of a creative design studio environment. The project considered relevant contemporary theoretical foundations and utilised Bluetooth beacon technology to augment the intervention. The researchers worked alongside students and staff, exploiting a bring your own device culture [BYOD] to consider the potential of using smart devices to create a connected learning community by enhancing learning and facilitating new opportunities for knowledge creation in a notional borderless learning space.

The project was supported by Google and received an internet of things [IOT] award. This project was also acknowledged as a case study included in the 2016 new media consortium [NMC] annual higher education report. The project was highlighted in the report around ‘Redesigning Learning Spaces’ identifying the intervention as a midterm trend driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for the next three to five years.

Research Output

This collection of images displays the outputs from this project. Find out more details in the full case study below.

Research Method

This process resulted in a high-level overview of Bluetooth beacon technology, that explored potential ways in which the technology is developing, and possible applications to support learning & teaching in Higher Education.

Key Methodologies:

Full Project Output

REF '21

To learn more about the output, methods and dissemination of this work, explore the full project submission.