Ever thought about how schools can deliver a fantastic new learning experience using technology? In Blaenau Gwent, we have. Working with the 5G Wales Unlocked consortium we are looking to transform digital learning for the benefit of our local community using BT’s public 5G network.
Work is well underway to create an immersive learning experience on the Works site in Ebbw Vale. The classroom has 360-degree projection mapped spaces using all 4 walls bringing the real world into a room immersing those in it.
The immersive interactive pod is set up in a 6m x 6m room, uses 4 projectors, a server and bespoke projection software to deliver a wide selection of curriculum focused lessons. There is a fixed ceiling mounted 360 camera which gives a wraparound display and users interact using iPads. A wonderful experience for the learners.
Teachers find the technology accessible and easy to use. Pupils get great interactive lessons and this helps broaden their learning experience. There is a growing amount of online content to help teach the curriculum as well as enabling pupils to learn new skills.
5G in this case has the ability to go beyond traditional teaching. It helps to explain difficult and abstract concepts using 3D models. Learners are able to build confidence, develop their imagination and creative thinking as well as developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. They build experience in creating digital content and experience new technology first hand.
Mental health and wellbeing is a real challenge for young learners and this immersive experience is a brilliant way of supporting this.
“5G in this case has the ability to go beyond traditional teaching. Learners are able to build confidence, develop their imagination and creative thinking as well as developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. ”
5G Smart Transport
Blaenau Gwent is also looking to use 5G for a couple of transport related projects. The area is already trailing an on demand bus service where you can use an app to plan and book a journey when you need it. The Fflecsi service replaces the traditional scheduled bus service in some areas but also brings bus services to those not previously part of the scheduled routes. Building on this the aim is to introduce the concept of smart buses using the additional 5G coverage to provide real time data on the location and journey times of the bus en-route. The benefit for customers is clear as it lets them book the bus as it travels with an estimated arrival time.
The current Fflecsi trial requires a 24-hour notice period to book but 5G will give immediate bus seating availability, location of the bus and customers can “redirect” the bus to pick them up in minutes rather than hours. Other benefits include encouraging people to use public transport, reduction in carbon emissions and the development of a more integrated transport system throughout Blaenau Gwent and the Region.
Smart car parks. 5G will also be used to help with access to car parking in Blaenau Gwent. The technology will be used to access live car park space status information. Customers can book spaces using an app safe in the knowledge that a space will be available when they need it.
Not only this but the data can be used to develop new services which encourage people to car share thereby helping those without cars travel to work and reach public transport hubs (e.g. park/rail).
There is a need to reduce the number of single occupant car journeys to reduce emissions and get more people to use environmentally friendly public transport services in the future.