American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 5518-5527
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2318
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Smart education has been a part of the growing research in the context of smart cities. While many view smart education as e-Learning, the concept has an expanded definition that includes many other aspects of students’ life in the school that can have an impact on the quality of their education. Physical activity in children is known to have an impact not only on the psychological state of children but has also been known to improve learning performance in children as well as adolescence. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. While most public schools in the developed nations provide ample facilities for physical activity for children, this is not the case in many countries for a variety of reasons. For examples, due to harsh weather conditions many low-cost private schools in even rich countries like the United Arab Emirates do not have adequate space where children can engage in physical activities. An additional problem in the UAE is an epidemic occurrence of severe vitamin D deficiency which is partially caused by children not getting enough exposure to the sun. This deficiency is closely related to a host of physical and psychological traumas that ultimately have an impact on learning outcomes. Since physical education and activity are parts of service any school must provide the Ministry of Education (MOE) in the UAE must ensure that a certain level of such physical activity among children is in fact taking place. The UAE MOE has strict guidelines that all private schools must conform to and implements these by conducting yearly audits. However, these audits are a one-off activity that primarily consist of taking an inventory of the existing physical assets. Such audits are not sufficient to establish the actual level of activities a child engages in during a typical school day. This research is focused on providing technology tools to the MOE that will enable it to get a more accurate measure of physical activity within children in an objective manner. Once this data is available, it can be correlated with the learning performance of children to take appropriate regulatory and policy actions. This paper will present the design and implementation of a system that uses wearable technology in conjunction with IoT protocols like MQTT to implement a system where children’s daily activity will be measured and provided for analysis to the MOE. The Wearable device used by the system is the Samsung Gear S2 Classic watch based that has been reprogrammed to utilize the built-in accelerometer sensor to create an activity profile of a child. The MOE will provide each school with a host of such watches that children will wear for a week. Data from these watches will be collected wirelessly and sent directly to the MOE activity server. Patterns of activities based on these traces of activities are classified into various categories like latent, some-what active, active very active etc. These activity patterns are also used to calculate the amount of calories burnt, distance walked, etc by each child. The activity patterns are also used to provide benchmarking information for the same type (e.g., Villa Schools) of schools; a school principal can benchmark the physical activity of their children with children in comparative schools. Based on this evaluation, the schools will be ranked by the MOE according to their physical activity profile.
Smart education, IoT, Wearables, Fitness.