written by Donald Carson
Technology is present in every field today, transforming the way of life greatly. Right from the cars to the dishwashers, daily use of objects and activities have received a massive technological upgrade in the past years. Amidst all the technological adoption, the education sector is one field that has been slow to catch up on the changing trends.
In this paradigm of connectivity between devices and objects of all kinds created through the Internet of Things, everything has come online from manufacturing equipment to devices. While the influence of IoT might be appearing slowly, the field is not entirely untouched by this technological boon.
The concept of technology in education has received the image of a classroom equipped with gadgets and a smart white-board. However, the integration of IoT stretches far beyond this notion, beginning far before one steps inside the classroom. For example, if the busses are connected through IoT, parents will be able to know exactly when the bus is arriving to pick or drop the children. Some of the most common IoT devices in the field of education right now include:
- Interactive Whiteboards
- Security Cameras
- Student IDs
- Smart and Efficient Lighting Solutions
- Sensors for Temperature and Environment
- Automated Attendance Systems
- HVAC systems
IoT Benefits in Education
Traditionally, learning and education was a concept that was limited to the four walls of the classroom, tutorials, textbooks and study groups. With the integration of IoT, education has become a much broader concept, making it more accessible to people. Here are some advantages of IoT in the field of education:
Access to Real-Time Data and Feedback
Monitoring the progress of a student, as their results, reports and peer reviews is a key point of education. The use of internet-connected devices like smartphones and tablets along with sound data analytics technology could help professors in keeping a track of the student’s attendance and activities during tests. This enables them to provide detailed and personalized feedback.
IoT enables students to get real-time feedback from anywhere, on a real-time basis. This is very useful for students who are learning a foreign language. They can refer to the linguistics of the natives and catch on them, perfecting their word choices and pronunciations.
Smarter and Connected Classrooms
Classrooms in the future will be truly technology-enabled and advanced. With VR, the presentation, history lessons, and science lessons can be replaced with 3D demonstrations of all wars and scientific parts of objects, making them exciting and easier to understand as well.
IoT has the capacity to become the foundation of future classrooms. Wearable devices and sensors will take the attendance of the students automatically as the bell rings and whiteboards will be able to record all the notes provided in class. Classrooms could even be equipped with smart microphones that could record homework and add it to the planner of the students.
Helping Students Overcome Disabilities
IoT can also be instrumental in aiding people who are challenged in some way. This is especially useful for students who suffer from a hearing impairment. Through the use of IoT devices, verbal speech can be converted to sign language and written texts. This will help in providing an efficient way of learning for them. Similarly, sign language can also be converted into verbal or written form so that people who do not know sign language can interact with the ones who suffer from a hearing impairment.
Enhancing Classroom Safety and Security
Smart technology also has the capability of making schools safer and more secure. Wearable technology can register the number of students entering the school and the number of students leaving. This will also ensure that students cannot leave school premises during lunch break or sneak out during lessons. Further, the use of smart security solutions will prevent intruders from entering the school premises and monitor activities around the school premises.
Allocating and Utilizing Resources Optimally
Installing HVAC systems in classrooms will help in saving both energy and money. These systems will be able to control the functioning of lighting and other systems, ensuring they are running only when needed. IoT devices can also adjust the lighting and audiovisuals automatically, based on the specification provided by the teacher.
Though IoT offers a host of benefits, adoption of the technology has been slow. This is the result of the various challenges that hinder the adoption of this technology. Infrastructural hurdles like connectivity, funding issues, and several other issues have made many people reluctant towards acceptance of the technology. Another major concern that surrounds the adoption of IoT is the issue of security. Since IoT devices collect sensitive information, this automatically puts the security and privacy of the students at risk.
In conclusion, IoT is ready to penetrate the field of education and slowly integrate into it, only hurdled by the cost and security concerns associated with it.