Today’s students are increasingly tech-savvy, so it comes as no surprise that the classroom is embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). In education, the IoT will augment the human-to-human learning experience, making classes more tailored, engaging and interactive.
It holds tremendous value for the sector. The ‘IoT in Education’ market is predicted to reach $11.3 billion by 2023 – up from $4.8 billion in 2018.
There are many opportunities offered by the IoT. Data from connected devices can be analysed to understand student needs and progress better. Wearables such as smartwatches can track attendance and even monitor student wellbeing. Educators can be automatically notified if a student is showing poor sleep patterns or high-stress levels.
Data can also be used to tailor learning to each student’s strengths. Each student can be evaluated, with weaker individuals given more support and tutoring to bring them up-to-speed. Simultaneously, strong individuals can be challenged with harder coursework and stretch assignments.
The rise of digital devices in the classroom is helping to facilitate this change. Delivering lessons via laptops, tablets and smartphones can enable students to work at their own pace. Interconnected devices will also make the classroom more interactive. Work on tablets can be ‘pushed’ to a smart blackboard, while Smartpens can record a teacher’s notes in real-time and deliver it to students for revision. Textbooks can be brought to life through virtual and mixed reality, with students instantly transported to Shakespeare’s Globe, for example.
This will have a knock-on effect on resources and efficiency – with machines picking up some of the legwork, teachers can educate everyone in greater detail.
Connected devices will make classrooms more inclusive, as students will be free to engage with their teachers from anywhere. A student who is hospitalised can continue their education and someone in a wheelchair may not have to miss out on a school trip. Visually impaired students can be given audio or larger-text versions of learning materials too.
Sign language gloves can automatically translate sign language into text and audio, enabling a hard-of-hearing student to participate more actively in class. VR is being trialled as a training tool for autistic students – helping them role-play various social situations, address phobias and improve speaking.
On another note, security in schools is paramount. Students are vulnerable to various forms of attack and schools must safeguard them against intruders. Facial recognition, RFID tracking and GPS can be used to identify unauthorised visitors – or even people showing unusual behaviour such as loitering outside the school gates.
Managing the environment
It can be difficult to concentrate if you’re too warm or cold. Intelligent HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems can monitor a building’s environment and adjust controls as needed. When there are more students in a classroom, it can automatically adjust the temperature. Similarly, smart lighting can switch lights on when required and off when a class is over. This makes the learning environment more comfortable for students and can cut the energy bill for educators – while additionally boosting sustainability.
On the horizon
It’s only a matter of time before every academic institution is better connected, offering a win-win for educators and students. The IoT will help offer accessible, tailored learning that’s effective for all and, most importantly, that engages and inspires every learner.
All content produced and published by Paratus People. All rights reserved. ©