The rapid pace at which technology is evolving has enabled educational institutions to start implementing Internet of Things (IoT) devices into everyday curriculums. The reasons for IoT integration into classrooms in 2021 are cumulative and concerns both the recent global pandemic and internet access penetration worldwide.
According to statistical data, 73% of US households have internet access for online learning, with 93% of teachers conducting tech-based teaching in 2020. The same study shows that 65% of faculty institutions are in open support of using modern educational resources for teaching, paving the way for IoT. To better understand the impact IoT will make on education, let’s tackle several practical applications and benefits of the technology in the education process.
Adaptive Teaching and Mentoring Opportunities
Before we talk about what IoT “can” do for education, we need to establish what it’s capable of on its own. Internet of Things devices represents networked devices such as tablets, touch-screen panels, and others that are connected to centralized databases.
For example, if a student completes an assignment digitally, that assignment is automatically uploaded to the teacher for review, with AI-based assessment as assistance. IoT systems are commonly found in home security systems, pacemakers, smartwatches, and other accessories such as car keys. What these devices can do when applied to education is paramount to how schools will function in the future. Teachers can rely on IoT systems to better assess their students, grade papers, review exams, and otherwise track each student’s performance.
This is especially helpful when working with students with different disabilities or difficulties in learning, such as ADHD, dyslexia, or autism. Both the teachers working with them and students personally working with school assignments can benefit from IoT. That data can be used to mentor each student based on his or her affinities rather than to follow a general guideline for everyone.
Integration of State-of-the-Art Devices into Classrooms
Given that IoT systems are inherently digital, their introduction into classrooms means better access to modern devices for all students. Both K-12 and college students can benefit tremendously from using IoT devices connected to their school’s databases both in class and at home.
Introducing devices such as tablets, laptops, touch-screen panels, and others as the norm in everyday classes can teach students about contemporary technology. Being introduced to IoT technology at a young age means that their career prospects will pivot to IT, software development, and programming early on.
Students who grow up with IoT devices as the norm in education will be much more inclined to pursue fields related to IoT itself. As such, their competencies will far exceed those of their peers in the same field.
Streamlined Teacher Data Processing and Analytics
Paperwork is an inevitability in education, and every teacher is well aware of the fact. With IoT at their fingertips, however, things are a bit different. Teachers can fully utilize digital devices to manage their classrooms, track each student’s performance and accurately assess their needs.
Day-to-day data entry and processing is much smoother with an IoT device in hand, especially for tracking absences, grades, etc. Teachers can thus be encouraged to bring their IoT databases home and quickly glance at any data they might need for parent consultations or grading.
IoT databases also allow in-depth analytics based on numerous factors and filters, meaning that manual legwork is kept to a minimum. With the best essay writing sites available, it’s also possible to write student information for safekeeping on local machines without security risks. This also makes long-term data storage much easier than writing papers by hand ever could be.
Centralized Educational Institution Scheduling Management
Educational institutions often struggle with classroom space despite their best efforts to accommodate all students. A centralized IoT database that all teachers can access can mitigate that problem substantially, as it can allow them to manage school schedules more easily.
This can help eliminate classroom overlaps, organize exam periods, as well as ensure that every teacher has classroom space to work with at any time. It would streamline educational institution management substantially and allow teachers to focus on what matters – teaching students and paying close attention to them instead.
Further applications of such a scheduling system can ensure that everyone in the educational institution is aware of upcoming holidays, vacation days, and school events. In addition, school trips and parent counseling can be integrated into the scheduling system, allowing each teacher to managing their classroom far more precisely.
Turning Old-School Chalkboards into Touch-Screen Displays
While there is value in using traditional chalkboards in class, IoT devices with touch-screen displays have slowly begun to fill that role. Having a large responsive touch-screen present in each classroom can significantly improve student engagement and interactivity with the curriculum.
A project named Promethean World is already hard at work to make this a reality by combining IoT technology with touch-screen displays. It does so by respecting the past and allowing its software to act just like a chalkboard would, with erasers and chalk-like writing tools available.
Schools in the US have started to pilot the technology, with Palmer High School in Colorado being the first to make these panels the norm. What the future holds for these IoT devices remains to be seen, but there is potential for them to help students embrace IT/IoT technologies.
What’s Obstructing Full-Scale Implementation of IoT into Education?
There’s no denying the value of IoT technology in education – however, its full-scale implementation is wrought with difficulties. For starters, introducing game-changing technology into government-regulated educational institutions requires laws and policies to be in place, not to mention exponential investment needed for funding.
Similarly, allowing K-12 students access to networked IoT devices raises security and privacy concerns by both educational faculties and parents alike. The upkeep of deploying, updating, and maintaining thousands of IoT devices throughout the US, not to mention worldwide, is also a concern worth noting. Projects such as Sweet Rush, based out of San Francisco, are attempting to build affordable IoT tablet devices with in-house developed software for learning. Even with controlled pilot programs in place, it will take years for IoT technology to make a foothold in the education industry.
That’s not to say that attempts to implement IoT into education should be abandoned – its potential and test results are too valuable to ignore. There will come a time when IoT technology takes center stage in education and replaces traditional book publications, manual writing, and research. No one can say how long that will take, however.
IoT technology has made an impact worldwide in healthcare and software development, not to mention how it eased everyday life. Education is an industry in the early IoT implementation, and with promising pilot programs already in place, the future is bright for full-scale integration.
All that’s left is to monitor its development and wait for the barrier of entry regarding IoT device production prices to drop off. Once that happens, it will be more feasible and realistic for students across the globe to take full advantage of what IoT devices can do.