How IoT Can Restructure The Education Sector

Cygnis Media Editor
How IoT Can Restructure The Education Sector

The Internet of Things (IoT), a system of connected objects, besides virtual reality and cloud computing, is steadily but surely revolutionizing the way we live. Though it has its challenges, yet the rewards show immense potential in tackling them.

These IoT-based applications are already being used in customer service and healthcare. And, now the education system is also catching up with the trend.

Gartner, a research analysis company, predicts that around 20.8 billion devices will be connected to the web by 2020 alone.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that the education system will eventually become a part of the system.

IoT enhances the volume and value of information by connecting processes, people, devices and data. Further, it provides the management actionable insights to make learning environment safer, smarter and accessible.

But how much impact has it caused until now? And, judging from its applications, can we trust IoTs to make the education system even better than what it already is?

The answer lies in the hallmarks of IoT and how they grow and improve the way we educate.

1 – Creating Safer learning environments

Creating Safer learning environments

IoT doesn’t only apply to learning. It also streamlines the physical security of students.

For example: Parents and school administrations would agree that a learning environment should not only be comfortable, but safe too. That’s why some school administrations carry out background checks on student’s parents now, concerning increased fears of violence and school shootings.
IoT can provide some peace of mind regarding these fears.

  • Facility security: There are several ways learning institutes have invested in the safety of students. Security systems and walk through metal detectors are some examples. In time, we will witness smarter locks that monitor and control the facilities intelligently, while reporting any anomalies found.
  • Monitoring Students: Everything from roll call to apps allow teachers to monitor students’ attendance. For example, high schools and universities now have security systems in place that are connected with the cloud. These count student attendance through doorway-sensors and alert the faculty of any forced entries.

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2 – Making learning experiences efficient

Efficient learning experiences

Teachers painstakingly create lesson plans and methods to ensure that every lesson has a takeaway. To do that, some institutes have adopted digitized versions of teaching medium like the standard whiteboard.

An example is the SMART interactive whiteboard that enables teachers to collaborate and share content easily. This technology and many more are a prime example of how connected teaching objects make it engaging.
IoTs have also made experiential learning appealing for students through the help of web-based systems.
These IoTs have provided some answers that serve as a stepping stone for more things to come. Here they are:

  • Improving focus: Most of us have been guilty of nodding-off during a class. Connected systems have provided a simple yet effective solution to that. For example, “quantified art,” an installation by Bosch artwork uses sensors to detect environment fluctuations. It knows if the students feel dizzy in the classrooms due to humidity and readjust the temperature.

    These connected Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are able to adjust the environmental levels of the classroom making students concentrate better.

  • Wearables: We recently discussed how virtual reality is solving the real world problems. In time, other wearable technologies besides VR headsets including smartwatches could become a natural part of the classroom. Consider Muse, a brain activity tracking headband, wearable techs like this one can be used by teachers to track learning styles.
3 – Aiding Special-need Students

Special Kids Learning

Statistics show that the number of disabled students getting higher education has increased in the past few decades. And, that the number of post secondary undergraduate students with known disabilities like Autism and ADHD makes up 6% of the student body.

The connected IoT devices help students with special needs to overcome the challenges they face in connection to their cognitive and physical limitations.

  • Increasing Independence: Students with special needs are largely dependent on caretakers and teachers. Therefore, the connected objects specifically designed to fill their needs will help these students become independent and more responsive. For example, a visually impaired student can be given a card that enlarges the font of his computer thereby reducing the need to call a teacher for help.
  • Helping to build Focus: Students that suffer from ADHD get distracted easily during lessons. Wearables like Muse, a headband that records brain activity, can help these students build better focus.
4 – Uplifting Administration

Uplifting Administration

Schools have finite administrative resources. They spend a lot of time on the day-to-day administrative tasks such as roll calling, and information transfer from class to central office. Connected devices provide a better solution to these problems:

  • Reduce operating costs: Connectivity can help campus administrations reduce costs. Studies argue that the state should be spending billions more than it already does on the construction and maintenance of K-12 schools.

    If school administrations start relying on IoTs, like smart grids that streamline energy management, it can reduce operating costs significantly.

  • Managing Inventory: Educational institutes have a vast amount of inventory to administer, which is a monumental task considering they manager are responsible for the whole district. In the future, these connected sensors in school storage rooms can alert administrators when stocks on RFID tagged items like desks, textbooks and cleaning materials run low. These technologies are already helping the brands like American Apparel automate inventory management.
Wrapping it up:

If IoTs take off, the educational sector will witness a complete revamp. First, these will have an impact on the student security with technologies like smart locks and remote tracking systems. Second, these connected devices will alleviate attention grasp of students through HVAC-based technologies. And, third, these wearable techs will enhance the quality of education for the disabled students through the data gathered to overcome cognitive and physical challenges these students face in schools.

Also read: Three IoT Myths that are Totally Wrong

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