SmarTone has kicked off a new programme aimed at helping schools in Hong Kong to embrace 5G technology through tailor-made smart campus solutions that can enhance teaching efficiency and ignite student’s passion for STEM learning.
The mobile operator’s new initiative called the “SmarTone 5G Ednovation Programme” is now running in three pilot schools, including HKSKH Bishop Hall Secondary School, Kowloon Bay St. John The Baptist Catholic Primary School and Man Kwan Pak Kau College.
“With 5G smart campus solutions in place, we are expecting a boost in overall quality of teaching and learning, with better teaching efficiency and more interactions in learning,” said Norman Tam, deputy chief executive officer of SmarTone.
Since launching its 5G services in Hong Kong, SmarTone has been enabling corporations on their digitalisation journey by creating endless possibilities in 5G applications. With this new programme, the company hopes to bring the same innovation to the city’s education sector. The smart campus solutions not only include learning systems but also smart administration and class management systems.
Nurturing innovative learning
As the first school to participate in the new programme, HKSKH Bishop Hall Secondary School has implemented a “5G Smart Hydroponics Planting System” on their campus.
SmarTone has helped the school to acquire funding for this system from the Office of the Communications Authority’s (OFCA) “Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G”.
The school’s 5G Smart Hydroponics Planting System consists of multiple sets of 4K cameras and a series of sensors that allow students to monitor the plants on livestream. The AI analyses water condition, humidity and temperature to provide advice on how to care for the plants. Another batch of 4K cameras is also set up for real-time system monitoring.
On top of that, the planting system also acts as an extended teaching material to enrich the variety of STEM classes, as well as increase students’ knowledge of planting, and nurturing their awareness of environmental protection and sense of responsibility.
“We believe it can stimulate students’ interest in learning about technology and hence nurture more technological talents, which is essential for Hong Kong to become a smart city,” said Tam.
Under arrangement by OFCA, more than 30 schools visited the SmarTone 5G Lab at Sky100 to learn how 5G technology improve management efficiency and quality for corporations and schools.
“Since then, we have been working closely with SmarTone to co-design the most suitable ‘5G Smart Hydroponics Planting System’ for our school, combining SmarTone’s technological expertise and our understanding of campus administration and teaching needs,” said Stanley Kam, principal of HKSKH Bishop Hall Secondary School said.
5G power-saving classrooms
Besides the hydroponics system, the school now also has the “5G Power-Saving Classroom” that connects IoT equipment to a 5G network. The solution allows teaching staff to control lighting, ventilation, air-conditioning, as well as AV systems with their mobile phones. In classes, they can also turn the facilities on and off with one switch or control the lighting with gestures.
“We believe the application does not only help increase the management efficiency of our school, said Kam.
The 5G-based power-saving system was also built in an outdoor classroom at Kowloon Bay St. John The Baptist Catholic Primary School. The classroom was converted from a bus with IoT facilities connected to 5G network.
The lighting facilities inside the room can be controlled with sensors, and the lights will turn on automatically when students or teachers enter. They can also control air conditioners and projectors easily with remote control.
“We also provided the school and its students with low latency VR experience, powered by 5G broadband routers that support multi-device connections with the leading Wi-Fi 6 technology,” said Tam of SmarTone.
5G smart terrarium
Meanwhile, SmarTone has also built a “5G Smart Terrarium” in Man Kwan Pak Kau College for raising turtles.
The facility is equipped with different monitoring devices and sensors, responsible for collecting various real-time data, including water contamination and abnormalities of water level. Working staff can also control lighting and temperature systems with remote control and calculate the concurrent number of views.
SmarTone vowed to collaborate with more schools and organisations in the future.
“We want to co-develop diverse and innovative 5G smart campus solutions, paving the way for Hong Kong to become a smart city,” said Tam.