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The Smart City
The lesson consists of some theory, discussion, video demonstration, practical assignment smartphones, and homework.
45-90 minutes
Difficulty Level
10+ years
Adapted for Age
We recommend downloading materials for the lesson:

  • Students who have listened to this course will have a basic idea of what a "smart" city is and what criteria it should meet
  • They will also learn words associated with this area of urban planning and computer science
  • Students will consider modern examples of "smart" technologies used, discuss in class the influence of modern technologies on everyday life and get acquainted with the professions that allow deeper study of urban planning as well as "Internet things."
Note: The lesson is built on the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) principle; so we encourage students to use their own smartphones while doing practical tasks.
Lesson contains:

  • Training material/lesson plan
  • Questions for discussion
  • Videos
  • Slides / projection images
  • Tasks for independent work
  • Tasks for work in groups
  • Tasks for working with your own smartphones/tablets
  • Printed materials
  • Homework
What is needed for the lesson:

  • Projector for video and slide show
  • Chalkboard, chalk or markers
  • Smartphones on Android or iOS platform with Futurio app
  • Futurio App: AppStore, Google Play
  • Presentation: Open
  • Videos
  • Printed A4 markers for practical work in class and homework: Download

How to use this lesson:

This lesson is designed for an academic hour, but a teacher can extend it to 90 minutes. An important element of the lesson is the students' ability to express their thoughts freely, to learn to think critically, to analyze facts and to engage in discussion.

During the lesson, students are allowed to use their own smartphones, but it is important that they download the relevant applications in advance. The teacher needs to prepare printed 'markers' - special images for practical work.

The lesson is structured so that students can answer the questions: "What do I know about how smart city functions?", "What technologies make a city smart?", "Can I call my city "smart" and what would I like to improve in it?"

This lesson also gives a basic idea of such groups of modern technologies like Big Data and Internet of Things, but we recommend spending a separate lesson for their discussion.

On this page, you will find a lesson plan that contains teaching materials, a list of slides and video, as well as recommendations on class activity at certain points of the lesson. You will also find important information in the prompts for the speaker within the presentation.

The lesson does not contain branded content, however, it is built on real examples of modern companies and their names are indicated in tips for the teacher. Whether to voice them during the lesson remains at the discretion of the teacher, according to the internal policy of the educational institution.

You can conduct the lesson "as it is" or give more attention and time to certain parts.

After the lesson, please share with us your impressions. Was the lesson interesting to you? Was it easy to understand the topic? Were there enough materials and videos? What additional questions did students ask? How can we improve on the lesson?

You will find a feedback form at the end of the lesson. Let's talk!

Good luck!
The Lesson Structure
Part 1. Topic Introduction
5 minutes
  • Teacher starts a lesson with an interesting, lively discussion of the topic, raises questions for students, motivates them to think critically, creatively, freely, moderates the discussion.
  • Lesson elements: discussion, creative thinking.
Part 2. Actualization of Knowledge
10 minutes
  • Teacher clearly formulates the goal of the lesson, explains the role of modern technologies in human and city lives, which now act as one; explains why it is important to be knowledgeable about the topic.
  • Lesson elements: video demonstration, creative thinking, discussion.
Part 3. Awareness / Acquisition of knowledge
10 minutes
  • Teacher explains theoretical material and terminology, demonstrates the impact of new technologies on the development of a modern and comfortable city, discusses with students real-life examples.
  • Lesson elements: theoretical part, creative thinking, discussion, notes, video demonstration.
Part 4. Reflection
10 minutes
  • Teacher initiates discussion, verifies whether students understood the material and whether they changed the views they expressed at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Lesson elements: discussion, creative thinking, critical thinking.
Part 5. Practical work, BYOD
5 minutes
  • Practical work in the group or independently with Futurio AR-application (BYOD).
  • Lesson elements: BYOD, independent work, group work, practical work, critical thinking, analytical thinking.
Part 6. Homework
2 minutes
  • Teacher encourages students to continue studying the material on their own through interactive homework.
  • Lesson elements: homework, independent work, analytical thinking, critical thinking.
part 1 (5 minutes)
Topic Introduction
When you spend time with your parents or grandparents, sometimes you have to explain to them how certain things that are obvious to you, work.

For example, it's difficult for parents to understand why Snapchat or Instagram are so interesting and how they work in general.

Grandparents are puzzled about how the hotel door is unlocked, not with a key, but with a smart card that looks like an ordinary credit card.

There are many such examples in our lives. After all, not all people are familiar with new technologies, because they develop rapidly and more keep on appearing.

What new things have you explained to your parents, grandparents, or other people?
Slide 1

Creative thinking
part 2 (10 minutes)
Actualization of Knowledge
Very interesting!

Today, we will also talk about new things, in particular, about a set of technologies that in the near future will turn our city into a Smart City.
Slide 2
Let's watch the video.
Slide 3

Video demonstration
Who can tell me what a smart city is?

This term is used in different meanings, for example, as a synonym for the phrase "innovative city", "comfortable city", "European city" or even "good city." What do you think it looks like?

In fact, smart city is the concept of a city that uses a variety of information technologies for more efficient operation, according to the needs of its citizens.

The concept of a smart city is similar to the concept of a smart home where different gadgets interact with each other. In the city, though, this process happens on a bigger scale.

Creative thinking
To better understand the principle of a smart city, let's think about what features a smart home has.


  • Reliable and easy to use security and video surveillance system
  • Automatic centralized correction of light depending on time of the day and movement of people
  • House chores like watering the garden or covering it from sunshine (or thunderstorm) occur according to weather data
  • Opening the door at a certain hour for pet care so that in the morning they can go out without using the time of their owners
  • Smart sensors that monitor leaks of water or gas and react to smoke or a dangerous level of carbon dioxide
  • Energy saving systems
  • A centralized control system which allows you to operate devices remotely via a smartphone
  • Climate control system that automatically switches heating, air conditioners and humidifiers on/off or allows you to do it remotely through an online service or a smartphone.
Slide 4


Creative thinking
Let's watch another video.
Slide 5

Video demonstration
Part 3 (10 minutes)
Awareness / Acquisition of Knowledge
Like a smart home, the idea of a smart city is that through real-time data gathering, all the resources of a city can be used more efficiently.

This allows you to save money and time, and improves the standard of living for the population.

In order to build a city that would be as comfortable as possible for its inhabitants, it is necessary to create certain conditions.
A cornerstone in building a smart city is collecting and processing large amounts of data, which are updated every second and come from various sensors, cameras, systems, devices and, of course, from the citizens.

This body of information is called Big Data.

The term Big Data comprises a bunch of technologies and methods that analyze and process huge amount of data, both structured and unstructured, for obtaining qualitatively new knowledge.

Generally, this technology allows you to easily work with such volume of data that can't be processed by a human, due to the enormous amount of information.

The data covers such parts of the city inhabitants' life as security, transport, medical services, utilities, urban upgrading.

It comes from video cameras, various sensors and information systems that are being implemented into everyday life.
Slide 6
The most developed and "smart" cities are Shenzhen in China, Barcelona in Spain, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, London, UK and New York in the United States.

Let's try to define what the features of a smart city are.
Slide 7

1. Intelligent traffic control systems.

These systems can enhance safety and efficiency of transportation, comfort for drivers, pedestrians and public transport users.

For example, in many countries of the world, and in Ukraine in particular, video surveillance on highways is installed, which allows traffic violations to be controlled.

In addition, an important role in this concept rests on the information about road conditions, availability of city parking lots, informing passengers about the arrival of public transport, changes in traffic flows, or road repairs.

This information allows you to save time and manage it properly.
Slide 8
2. Smart approach to street lighting.

Smart motion sensors are gaining popularity. They turn on the light only when they detect a certain movement or the presence of a person, and turn it off when the room is empty.

The same goes for street lighting. On less busy streets, it can stay all night in dim mode or be completely off.

When special street sensors detect movement - for example, your neighbour wakes up early to walk the dog - the light goes into normal bright light mode.

In addition, LED lamps are in demand because they reduce the use of electricity by up to 80% compared to the filament lamps we are accustomed to.

Thus, the city can save a lot of money on street lighting.
Slide 9
3. Involvement of the city's residents in decision-making and management.

The e-governance and e-participation are the most important components of an intelligent city because of its impact on local government.

Throughout the world, these trends have been implemented and many citizens communicate with the local authorities via e-appeals.

The e-government is not only an opportunity to receive certain services online but, what is equally important, to receive information and advice at any time. For example, citizens may search for information on how to pay taxes, fill out certain documents and appeals, or how to apply for subsidies, grants and social assistance. Usually, in order to find out this information, one has to stand in a queue to a specialist in a corresponding institution.

If the governance of the City provides easy-to-use information systems, time for transport, queues and consultations is reduced to a minimum, because all that can be accessed from a government website or app. There you can register for elections, pay a fine or order a new document.

Through the implementation of "cloud" services, various government agencies can exchange information in real time.
Slide 10
4. Equipping "smart" homes.

This technology involves using a number of high-tech devices in the house for the most comfortable living of its inhabitants.

In particular, there are several main areas of smart home technologies implementation.
  • Safety (sensors of motion, presence, vibration, breaking glass, window or door opening; video surveillance, electronic locks and gate management modules, alarm system)
  • Lighting control (smart switches, curtain and blinds control modules, controllers for LED light; motion and occupancy sensors)
  • Climate control (sensors and thermostats to maintain constant or automatically controlled temperature and humidity, thermostats to control domestic heating).
These technologies make our homes more efficient and easy to maintain, thus helping the whole city.
Slide 11
5. City Wi-Fi network.

Today, most European cities provide access to a Wi-Fi network to its citizens.

Wireless Internet can be accessed in city public transport (trains, trams), city centres, public places or near historical or cultural monuments.

In Barcelona and Tallinn, for example, it is hard to find a corner without Wi-Fi.
Slide 12
6. Smart public transport.

It provides control over everything that happens in and outside the cabin due to the installed cameras. In case of violations, it is able to transmit information to the authorities via Wi-Fi network that the smart bus is equipped with.

The driver can evaluate the situation with the help of sensors. For example, if the red light is flashing, it means that there is an emergency in the cabin.

It is also possible to use geolocation - you can track transport and if necessary, quickly find out where the bus is.

In addition, public transport stops themselves can be smart. For example, they can be equipped with machines for purchasing tickets, touch screens for route planning, cell phone charging stations, heated seats powered by solar panels. For security reasons, they can also be equipped with video surveillance cameras and noise sensors that trigger a call to the security service.
Slide 13
Let's watch the video.
Slide 14

Video demonstration
7. Emergency notifications.

Personal alert network, which sends notifications to subscribers located in emergency areas, effectively operates in many countries nowadays.

Thus, it is possible to prevent the increase in the number of victims as well as panic attacks, which often bring no less harm in such situations.
Slide 15
8. Emergency response buttons.

These mean faster help - law enforcement agencies react more quickly to certain events and arrive more quickly.

This practice takes place in the United States and shows positive results.
Slide 16
9. Use of solar panels.

This practice is an integral part of a smart city.

Solar panels are installed on roofs of buildings. They provide autonomous electricity to individual apartments and houses depending on their size.

Moreover, the whole city can be powered by solar farms. By saving excess energy in special lithium-ion batteries, power can be supplied the whole day and even night.
Slide 17
Watch the video about how a whole island can be powered with solar energy:
Slide 18

Video demonstration
10. Non-cash payments.

Currently, in developed countries, paper money is almost out of use - it has been replaced by bank payment cards.

But this is not the final solution.

The concept of a smart city implies the total use of mobile payments, so that residents would not carry large sums of cash or a lot of cards. For this purpose, special payment terminals, which can pay via mobile phone and special app, are installed.
Slide 19
Do you know such situations?
Slide 20

Video demonstration
Part 4 (10 minutes)
So, today we talked a lot about a smart city, and now you know what features it has.

What do you think, what are the benefits of living in a smart city?


  • People will have more free time because they will be less often stuck in traffic jams and will manage things online
  • People will exercise more: walk or ride bikes because of reduced traffic and the convenient system of public transport
  • More involvement of security agencies in video patrols at all corners of the city can have a positive impact on security
  • More efficient use of resources through more intelligent monitoring and planning
  • Faster and more transparent communication of community with local government will allow quick identification of urgent issues and common solutions.

Creative thinking
Sounds wonderful, right? But let's think now about what might be the disadvantages of a smart city?


  • High probability of hacker attack on city systems and databases
  • Constant video surveillance and control can deprive many of their privacy that they are fully entitled to
  • Monopolization of certain systems or services may, in time, negatively affect the quality of these services and cause the "dependence" of the city, for example, on certain software.

Critical thinking
Part 5 (5 minutes)
Practical work with Futurio App, BYOD
Futurio app
With the help of the application, the lessons about new technologies will become more interesting and interactive
And now let's see what different sites of a smart city may look like. Let's take the example of a public transport stop.

To that end, we need to complete a super assignment.

You have special drawings.

1. Get your smartphones or tablets.
2. Open the Futurio app.
3. Put a picture in front of you.
4. Point the smartphone camera so that the entire picture can fit on the screen.
5. What do you see?

Take a look at the picture from all sides. Bring the camera closer to the picture or move it further away.

*Printed А4-marker for work in class and homework: Download
Slide 21

Practical assignment

Work with prints and Futurio App

Students work in groups or individually, get acquainted with augmented reality, analyze what they have seen, and summarize what they have learned in the classroom.
Questions for class work (independent or in groups) or as homework (recommended):

1. Look at the picture to the left. Check out the items that can turn the public transport stop to the "smart" one.

2. Think about our school surroundings. Suggest ways of improving this space with smart technologies:

a) Security: ______________________________________

b) Comfort: ______________________________________

c) Efficiency: _____________________________________

e) Ecology: _______________________________________
Slide 22

Test / Homework

Students answer test questions on the sheets with drawings
Part 6 (5 minutes)
Click the button to download AR-Marker (.pdf)
Task 1. AR-marker & Creative Assignment

Take the pictures home.

On the sheets with pictures, you will find test questions.

Work at home with the app, take a closer look at what you see on the screen.

Answer the test questions.

Task 2. Interview

As we learned today, modern technologies are developing quickly and in 10-15 years, cities might no longer appear, be managed and sensed the way they are now.

You might have not noticed it, but they have already changed in comparison with what they used to be.

Talk to your grandparents and ask them about how different modern cities are in comparison to those in their childhood. What technologies did not exist before?

Record the interview on your mobile phone.

Additional information for the teacher:

The interview length - up to 5 minutes. All videos may be uploaded to a special folder in a cloud storage, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Teacher can help mount the most interesting answers in a small movie and watch it together or hand this "video archive" over to the school newspaper to create an article.

Task 3. Icograms (optional)
Invite students to create a "smart" area near the school using Icograms 3D model. This is an easy and convenient way of creating a 3D map within a few minutes.

Video explanation:

Go to service:

Good luck!

Slide 23
We recommend using presentation for the lesson

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