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GAIA paper at FabLearn Europe '18

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The paper titled "Using an Educational IoT Lab Kit and Gamification for Energy Awareness in European Schools" was presented at the FabLearn Europe 2018 event, at Trondheim, Norway.

In this work, we report on how a large IoT deployment in a number of educational buildings and real-world data from this infrastructure, are utilized to support a "maker" lab kit activity inside the classroom, together with a serious game. We also provide some insights to the integration of these activities in the school curriculum, along with a discussion on our feedback so far from a series of workshop activities in a number of schools. Our initial results show strong acceptance by the school community.

The paper is available online at the portal of the ACM:

https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3213823

Published in: Education
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GAIA paper at FabLearn Europe '18

  1. 1. USING AN EDUCATIONAL IOT LAB KIT AND GAMIFICATION FOR ENERGY AWARENESS IN EUROPEAN SCHOOLS Georgios Mylonas, Dimitrios Amaxilatis, Lidia Pocero, Iraklis Markelis, Computer Technology Institute & Press “Diophantus”, Patras, Greece Joerg Hofstaetter, OVOS, Vienna, Austria Pavlos Koulouris, Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Athens, Greece
  2. 2. GREEN AWARENESS IN ACTION Fostering Behavioural Change towards Energy Efficiency in Europe’s School Buildings
  3. 3. Green Awareness In Action • Wider frame: • Need to affect citizens’ behaviour in the buildings where they live and work, in order to improve energy efficiency • Focus on a particular target group: essential for designing a successful behavioral-change strategy • GAIA: • Educational buildings represent 17% of the non-residential building stock in the EU • Focusing on the educational community – students, educators, parents… Green Awareness in Action 3
  4. 4. Behavioral change towards energy efficiency in school buildings Educational approach combined with a set of applications (a) educating children and young people to embrace energy-efficient habits that will have sustainable results on energy consumption (b) focusing on students, but also hoping to affect their family environment – cf. students’ ability to influence choices made by their families related to environmental issues Green Awareness in Action 4
  5. 5. GAIA at a glance • 3 countries • 15 schools • Primary schools • Secondary schools • Technical high schools • 1 university building • ~6000 students • ~1100 educators Green Awareness in Action 5
  6. 6. Our aim • To raise the awareness of the users of school buildings – students and educators – in relation to saving energy • …and through them, of the wider local communities • To encourage behaviours that contribute to energy efficiency in the school building: • We encourage students and educators to make and implement decisions related to their everyday habits and behaviours: • So that they can save energy … • ..but not to the expense of the functions of the school and of living comfortably in it. Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 6
  7. 7. What we have available • Technology: • Equipment (sensors, meters) in school buildings: • Mainly installed, but also portable • Data from the school building collected through the equipment: • Energy consumption, temperature, illumination, noise, etc • Digital applications providing the collected data to students, educators, building managers • A gamified online environment aiming to encourage the educational activities • Our environmental and learning goals: • What we want to achieve • Our educational realities: • What can be done, how, where, when, by whom • Our ideas! • All these  GAIA educational scenarios • An open, flexible framework allowing an array of activities Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 7
  8. 8. GAIA devices installed in schools Green Awareness in Action 8
  9. 9. • Temperature • Relative humidity • Illuminance (how much light) • Motion detection (presence in the room) • Noise level • CO2 concentration • Electrical power consumption What is monitored in the school building
  10. 10. We monitor and change: • We monitor and change our use of electricity • Of the building overall • Of some chosen parts of it • We try changing our use of: • Lighting • Air-conditioning • Other energy-hungry devices (e.g. computers), etc • We monitor energy consumption for heating • We try changing behaviour in terms of: • Timing and duration of the use of heating • Ventilation Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 11
  11. 11. Taking into account the conditions… • Taking ambient conditions into account: • Light • Temperature • Humidity • Other atmospheric conditions and weather  Aim: Functional and pleasant living in the school building Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 12
  12. 12. • Raising awareness about energy efficiency • Monitoring energy consumption in the school building • Experimenting with changes in everyday behaviour • Analysing the impact on energy consumption • Deciding to take action for energy efficiency Playful active learning to increase energy efficiency
  13. 13. GAIA’s power: the school community • Technology: • Equipment • Data • Digital applications • Gamified environment • Your environmental and learning goals: • What you want to achieve • Your educational realities: • What can be done, how, where, when, by whom • Your ideas, next to ours! • All these  GAIA educational scenarios • An open, flexible framework allowing an array of activities Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 14
  14. 14. We entrust the student and the educator with the activity and the change • The activity belongs to the community, it is not imposed • Sharing: • the understanding of the need to save energy • the goal of energy efficiency in the school building • ways to achieve the goal • We encourage long-term engagement in the effort to achieve the goals, by gamifying the process Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 15
  15. 15. Gamification: “GAIA Challenge” • Web-based environment aiming to motivate activities by the school community • Playful framework of activities: • We carry out quests of knowledge: • Themes: electricity saving, heating, transportation… • We monitor the results of our effort • Visualisation of the collected data • Score of our building • Comparison of our energy savings with those of others • We share our experiences with others. Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 16
  16. 16. GAIA Challenge Architecture Green Awareness in Action 17
  17. 17. GAIA Map and Gamification Green Awareness in Action 18
  18. 18. Gaia Dashboard Green Awareness in Action 19
  19. 19. Cycles of activities Reflecting Discussing Concluding Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 20 Practical activities Gathering data and experiences Getting informed Learning
  20. 20. Timing of the activities – an example • Three parts, one week each: • First week: Acquaintance with the topic • GAIA offers informational / teaching materials • Second week: Going deeper into the topic • Relevant knowledge quests ‘unlock’ in GAIA Challenge • Third week: Applying knowledge in practice • Carrying out practical activities in the building, monitoring their results • Finally: Sharing the completed activity in the online environment. Green Awareness in Action Educational Scenarios 21
  21. 21. Working with the GAIA Lab Kit Green Awareness in Action 22
  22. 22. Working with the GAIA Lab Kit • The use of maker community tools and IoT technologies inside classrooms is spreading • In GAIA, the large IoT deployment in educational buildings and the real-world data from this infrastructure, are utilized to support a “maker” lab kit activity in the classroom • Integrated with the use of the GAIA Challenge • Linked to the school curriculum Green Awareness in Action 23
  23. 23. The GAIA Educational Lab Kit • In a “hands-on” mode, students use: • data from their school building • IoT components and electronics • The kit includes already assembled devices and commercial IoT sensors and actuators • guidance provided by the project • Classes and lab tutorials regarding energy efficiency • Serving as an additional means of students’ interaction with the project, further increasing end-user engagement. Green Awareness in Action 24
  24. 24. Mapping school building reality • In the educational lab kit activities the focus is on mapping what is happening in the school building in real time: • Using a floorplan of their school as a surface to place electronic components and devices, essentially assembling a small-scale interactive installation. • Conducting simple “missions” inside the different parts of their buildings, indoors and outdoors, detecting and pinpointing specific energy-efficiency-related rooms or devices. Green Awareness in Action 25
  25. 25. Lab Kit IoT and hardware • The Lab Kit includes IoT devices (commercial and GAIA- designed) together with other hardware components that can be used to assemble custom electrical circuits, which can enable: • Familiarization with electronics, using common components, such as LEDs, resistors, switches, etc. • Monitoring of real-world parameters, in a way similar to the fixed IoT infrastructure installed inside GAIA school buildings, but in a more “personalized” and direct manner. • Interaction with GAIA software services, in similar ways to the ones used by the infrastructure, also providing a clearer picture of how the overall GAIA system works. Green Awareness in Action 26
  26. 26. Making things easy • Avoiding extensive wiring between the different components and complicated interconnections, by using: • Conductive ink, in order for students to “draw” the interconnections required between the various electronic components. In this manner, we avoid the extensive use of cables and breadboards, simplifying the overall activity and saving time. • Raspberry GrovePi hats, that have standardized connectors for input/output interfaces, i.e., students and teachers do not have to worry about how to connect the components, or where, since all interconnections are carefully labeled to prevent confusion. • Magnet-carrying electronic components, which enable easy placement on top of a metal surface. The use of magnets prevents the components from slipping and moving around during the lab kit activity. • Printed paper school building floorplans, which illustrate both the parts of the building and the placement of electronic components for the lab activity. The floorplans are placed on top of a metal surface so that magnets are kept firmly connected during the lab activity. Green Awareness in Action 27
  27. 27. Components utilised • Raspberry Pi, as the device handling the main computing and networking duties for the lab activities. • Conductive ink markers, for sketching out wire paths onto paper. At this point, we are using the Circuitscribe markers. • Electronic components, such as LCD screens, resistors, switches, potentiometers, etc. At this point, we are using Circuitscribe components, mainly due to their magnetic clip attachments, ease of use and overall safety. • Sensors with standardized interfaces for connecting to the Raspberry Pi. At this point, we are using the GrovePi, an open- source family of sensors available from various distributors, which use standardized interfaces and are suitable for educational activities due to their design. • Custom electronic boards, which ease interfacing with GAIA and visualization of real-time data used during the lab activities. One of such boards is the LED ring board used to visualize the 3-phase energy consumption in the building. Green Awareness in Action 28
  28. 28. Lab Kit software • The Raspberry Pi devices use the Raspbian Linux distribution • The Lab Kit activities are based on a number of Python scripts provided by the project. The lab kit activities use the default options for Python provided by Raspbian • We use the standardized Web interfaces of GAIA to communicate with the system for real-time data • Thus no additional changes are required to the vanilla Raspbian distribution for Raspberry Pi. Green Awareness in Action 29
  29. 29. Organization of the Lab Kit activities • We have prepared a series of lab activities, covering aspects of energy consumption and efficiency inside school buildings: • “Energy consumption in our school” • “Lighting inside school buildings” • “Heating inside school buildings” • “Temperature, Humidity and Thermal Comfort” • “Devices and Energy efficiency” • “Energy Inspectors - The energy footprint of our building”. Green Awareness in Action 30
  30. 30. Educational materials • Materials provided for the activities: • Description of each activity and guidance • Incl. subject, required background (theoretical and practical), short description of the tasks to be completed (goal), difficulty levels. • Materials for the educators • educational objectives, methods, schedule • Materials for the students • Instructions and explanations. Green Awareness in Action 31
  31. 31. Summary of a sample lab kit activity • “Temperature, Humidity and Thermal Comfort” • Students are given a short introduction to the aims of the activity, as well as instructions on how to draw circuits for the lab using conductive ink, on top of a printed floorplan of their school. • They are then instructed to assemble a small electronic circuit using 2-color LEDs, buttons and an LCD screen, and place the components over a predefined set of class rooms in the floor map. • After assembling the circuit, the students power up the Raspberry Pi’s, and start looking into the Python code. They execute a series of available Python scripts that connect to GAIA’s cloud infrastructure to fetch real-time data. • They then go through a series of activities, where they see the temperature and humidity inside their classrooms, which are visualized on the LEDs of the circuit (e.g., red for temperatures above 25 degrees) and the LCD screen. • They use hardware switches and buttons to navigate between different visualization modes. • A set of activities provides the background to assess thermal comfort levels, to note down differences between classrooms, and try to reason the origin of such differences due to room orientation, construction, etc. • They also provide examples of how to customize the Python code to provide additional functionality and visualization modes. Green Awareness in Action 32
  32. 32. Integration of Lab Kit with GAIA Challenge • In the form of additional quests in the Challenge, unlocked for the schools that are participating in such activities. • These quests are a visual “tutorial” for students to prepare for the lab or understand better aspects such as e.g., the wiring between specific electronic components. • Educators can choose to “unlock” these Lab Kit-specific quests before or after the first Lab Kit activity, in order to familiarize students with the Lab, or repeat some of the activities to get a better understanding of the tools used. Green Awareness in Action 33
  33. 33. Lab Kit and other GAIA components • Additional activities proposed to educators, suggesting ways to integrate the rest of the GAIA tools with the lab activities: • e.g. in the period between two successive lab activities, students can use the Building Manager Application to monitor environmental parameters that they checked during a lab activity. • They can then discuss their findings with their teachers when they have their next lab activity at school. • They are also encouraged to share their findings/progress on the GAIA Challenge or Facebook page of the project. • GAIA Challenge can also be used as homework, so that students do not lose contact with the workshops for a long time. Green Awareness in Action 34
  34. 34. Initial end user-evaluation • Some preliminary results we have from the use of the lab kit in schools in Greece in recent months. • Still ongoing work, experiences from initial application in some schools. • A diverse set of end-users: Several of the schools participating in the project have staff that uses, or is comfortable with the use of Arduino-based activities. However, not all educators or students have experience with such technologies. • For a preliminary evaluation of the lab kit in classrooms, we conducted 2 workshops with 2 groups of Greek students aged 11-15 years old (primary and secondary school students), including 48 and 58 students in each workshop. Green Awareness in Action 35
  35. 35. Initial end user-evaluation • So far, we have had a very positive overall response from both students and teachers. • The initial results reported will be further strengthened in the following weeks and months, as lab kit activities are carried out in the vast majority of the schools participating in GAIA. • We expect close to 15 schools to have a first experience with the lab kit in the near future, and several hundreds of students to be involved in them. Green Awareness in Action 36
  36. 36. Thank you! • Presenter contact: Pavlos Koulouris, pkoulouris@ea.gr • Project website: http://gaia-project.eu • On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EUGAIAProject • … Green Awareness in Action 37
  37. 37. Green Awareness in Action 38

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