Singapore Polytechnic is on a journey towards becoming a future-ready campus with its Smart Campus initiative. The mission of this initiative is similar to that of Deakin University, notable for being the only Smart Campus in Australia.
This move falls in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and the Ministry of Education’s fourth Masterplan for ICT in Education. What this means is that the university will be integrating advanced technologies to develop knowledge through subject mastery and nurture “Future-ready and Responsible Digital Learners”.
In 2014, Singapore Polytechnic aligned with IDA to announce funding of $2.8 million for their Robotics & Maker Academy. This academy aims to supply the new build culture by training 8,000 primary and secondary students in coding. This was the one of many moves towards embracing frontier technologies.
Through the integration video analytics, IoT, location-based awareness tools, and service virtualisation tools, Singapore Polytechnic will be preparing itself for the future of education.
Singapore Polytechnic will drive this initiative through three main pillars: Smart Education, Smart Networks, and Smart Energy.
Smart Education involves a new digital service which uses the ‘flipped’ classroom approach. Students will be able to view video lectures and lessons made available on the cloud drive, so that when they walk into the classroom, they are ready to tackle deeper conversations about the topic.
Lecturers will utilise learning analytics tools to customise their lesson plans and identify students who need extra help.
The Smart Networks initiative will work to embrace connectivity throughout the campus, like never before. Students and staff will be able to navigate through the facilities using location-based awareness tools and information fed from new sensors and IoT devices.
Using the data from this initiative, the Polytechnic will work with their partners on future big data analysis projects.
Singapore Polytechnic is working to establish an energy management initiative, using smart lighting and presence awareness, which will adjust utilities according to the physical activity in the facilities. They expect to save more than S$1 million each year from this Smart Energy drive.
The Polytechnic has been working with its partners to embrace and integrate technology in order to improve the educational experience, produce more efficient service delivery, and increase cost savings.
At a recent press briefing, OpenGov was able to learn more about the Smart Campus initiative and the benefits it will bring to the university.
“Singapore Polytechnic aims to make teaching and learning more inclusive and accessible to our staff and students. As one of the first educational institutions to be aligned with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, we hope to continue to produce graduates who are future ready,” stated Loh Gin Chye, Director, Department of Information and Digital Technology Services, Singapore Polytechnic.
OpenGov caught up with Loh Gin Chye during the press briefing to ask more about the impact this initiative will have on the student population.
We asked why Singapore Polytechnic is using WiFi and not video analytics to track activity in busy student facilities, such as the library.
“We are using video analytics for situational awareness, so that is more for security,” Loh Gin Chye told us, “In our setup of the wireless, we know who the students are. If we used video analytics, we would not have that information. With this, we can provide personalised services and push out information to the students.”
To engage the community in this initiative, Singapore Polytechnic is using a bottom-up approach.
This past term, they allowed students in their final year project, to compete in the Smart Poly Awards. The Smart Poly Awards showcased innovative developments and encouraged students to co-create and work towards the Smart Campus initiative.
“This year, the winner was a project called ‘Smart Mouse Trap’. Traditionally, the pest company would put a mouse trap in the affected area and come back the next day to see if they caught the pest,” said Loh Gin Chye,
“They put sensors in the mouse trap so once it is activated, every morning they collect the information and send it to the pest extermination so they can send the right amount of manpower to retrieve the traps.”
Singapore Polytechnic is also providing an Idea Grants Fund which supports faculty in pursuing their ideas which contribute to the Smart Campus initiative.
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 48 full-time diploma courses for close to 16,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work-ready, life-ready and world-ready. SP has more than 184,000 graduates. Among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government. SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.