This connected campus makes me wish I was back in school

The new smart Global Indian International School campus has all the bells and whistles.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read

The Global India International School's latest campus is really smart thanks to the Internet of Things.

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I grew up before computers were common in classrooms -- the most you could expect to get in my school was a CD-ROM encyclopedia to mess around with. (And if you don't even know what a CD-ROM is, don't sweat it. We've come a long way since then).

So imagine my surprise when I popped by the latest campus of Singapore's Global Indian International School to find out just how much schools have changed in the past 20 years.

Dubbed the "SMART Campus" and packed to the brim with sensors and connected Internet-of-Things devices, the school uses technology to make education easier for students, parents and teachers.


These facial scanners can unlock doors and check for attendance.

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Teachers and students don't need to use keys or padlocks anymore. A facial recognition device automatically unlocks classroom doors after school hours, while students can store their textbooks in smart lockers tagged to their student cards.

Parents can track when buses are leaving the school with their kids and find out when those buses will be held up by traffic congestion. Even the toilets are smart -- they're equipped with ammonia sensors that let janitors track the number of people using them and work out the best time to clean up.


Smart lockers can be assigned to a student who can unlock them with their student passes.

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It's hard not to be impressed by the sheer volume of tech being used and data being collected. Every teacher has an iPad Pro . And the school's TVs all have Apple TV support and can wirelessly stream teaching materials.

But filling a classroom with high-tech gizmos won't mean a thing if the students aren't learning well. So the school also uses data science to provide analytics to teachers, letting them intervene if a student is underperforming. Data analytics is also used for sports, tracking and recording activity in a high-tech sports hall.

Parents who are worried about data privacy don't have to be, as the school says it has "multiple layers of watertight security measures for data protection" and is compliant with Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act. The school also added that it has not yet received any requests to delete data collected from either parents or students.

Capping it all is the plan to roll out similar upgrades to the school's other 23 campuses in seven different countries, which include the UAE and Japan. There's no word yet on when this will happen though.


This robot named "Poppins" serves drinks and snacks to visitors, and in the future, will be used to tag along with teachers to carry their homework for classes.

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