Digitalization has become an integral part of education—especially amid a global pandemic. While most schools continue to embrace Zoom and Google Classroom sessions, others have started to hold face-to-face classes again. And in such schools, the use of different devices is key to ensuring safety, reducing physical contact, and improving the classroom experience. The problem, however, is that the school networks have become strained.
When too many students and teachers in a classroom or school building want to access WiFi at the same time, the connection will likely slow down or even crash. Schools’ IT departments could counter this effect by increasing their bandwidth connection or supplementing their WiFi with another wireless technology called LiFi (Light Fidelity).
Empowering the Classroom: The Benefits of LiFi in Schools
While LiFi is still a developing technology, it offers several benefits that empower today’s classrooms in some parts of Europe and the US. And once LiFi becomes more publicly available, these benefits can trickle down to more schools and universities across the globe.
- Faster internet speed: Compared to WiFi, LiFi has the potential to deliver unprecedented bandwidth that instantly translates to faster internet connection and download speeds. That can help students and teachers in their day-to-day activities. Plus, it can reduce the costs often spent on increasing bandwidth in school networks.
- Efficient signal range: Even though LED bulbs have a shorter signal range than WiFi’s radio frequency signals, it doesn’t necessarily mean that LiFi users will have a slow internet speed if they’re far away from a light source. LiFi doesn’t rely solely on a line of sight—it can also send and receive data through light reflections. So in a classroom with four solid walls and multiple light sources, LiFi would truly work well.
- Data security: LiFi’s shorter signal range than WiFi is also an advantage in keeping student data secure. Since LiFi signals can’t pass through walls, they’re not easy to penetrate. That means reduced instances of data breaches and other similar issues. Teachers simply have to close the doors and window blinds to boost data security.
- Low-light connectivity: The design of special LED bulbs used in LiFi networks can be dimmed and still transmit data. That means students can still work on their Chromebooks online even while the lecturer shows a PowerPoint presentation.
- Internet availability: Classrooms located in or near the lowest building levels often have difficulties connecting to WiFi. But since LiFi only needs special LED bulbs to work, it can enable students located in usual WiFi dead spots to go online with ease.
Today’s LiFi Implementation in Schools & Universities
As mentioned, many schools and universities have begun implementing LiFi in their facilities. For instance, Rome is the first city in Italy to experiment with LiFi in schools. The Rosetta Rossi Institute installed nine LED lamps on the ceiling of their computer room, allowing 20 computers to connect to a LiFi network with higher download speeds than WiFi.
PureLiFi, one of the leading LiFi companies, has helped Kyle Academy in Scotland explore the wonders of LiFi. Kyle Academy deployed LiFi-enabled lights in the ceiling of the modern studies classroom. Then, students were given LiFi-XC dongles that they could plug easily into their laptops, enabling them to stream educational videos and download resources at ultra-fast speeds to get more out of their usual 45-minute periods with their teacher.
Four schools in Belgium have started to embrace LiFi, too. They tap the capabilities of another rising LiFi company, Signify, to ensure their implementation is done efficiently.
Let Classrooms Reap the Power of LiFi
As digitalization takes over the classroom, the educational sector has to keep up. So if you’re in the educational sector, it’s time to start exploring what LiFi has to offer for students and teachers. You can begin with LiFiMax or other LiFi products available on the market.