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    IoT In Education: How Internet Of Thing Impacts Schooling

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has already simplified our lives and bettered the healthcare industry by making it work more efficiently... So why not implement applications of IoT in education as well? It's the best moment to introduce innovative digital technologies into learning activities! Moreover, the first educational institutions to follow this trend are likely to become top market leaders. And being a leader means a lot in our time.

    Of course, teachers (and sometimes students) remain skeptical about the Internet of Things; IoT solutions are still new and unfamiliar. However, they have a great future and bright prospects.

    Let's take a look at examples of IoT in education and find out how these systems help schools and universities. 

    Internet of Things: What Is It All About?

    In short, the IoT involves the interaction of certain objects (things, also known as IoT devices) with each other and with the outside world through Internet technologies. The main goal is to make our life easier, more comfortable, and relieve us from performing a number of routine monotonous tasks.

    Anything has a chance to become an IoT (smart) device, any object, provided it can be connected to the Internet and transformed in such a way as to transmit information. The Internet of Things system processes and analyzes this information, then draws some conclusions based on it and takes the necessary steps to achieve the goal set (without human participation, but in our favor!).

    There are all kinds of smart devices, from a light bulb that turns on and off via a mobile application to a truck driven by robotic technologies (these are just generalities; as concerning IoT applications in education, we'll discuss them below).

    Follow the link to find out why you need to create an eLearning resource right away.

    And by the way, the Internet of Things isn't just about automation, not at all! It's about something bigger than that. We’re talking about the opportunity to program digital algorithms so that they guess and fulfill your desires. Using the data received from various sources (objects, things, devices, whatever you call it), the IoT system forms knowledge about you and your needs.

    IoT Applications in the Education Industry: Is It Worth It?

    "Children have forgotten how to learn!" - teachers all over the world complain. "They’re unable to concentrate on one thing! They are so easy to distract!"

    But is that really the case? At the very least, experts believe otherwise. They think it's more about the clash of new digital thinking and pre-computer, old-school ideology.

    And let's face it: it's too ridiculous to teach modern children according to the 2000s curriculum. The world has changed a lot over the past 20 years, which cannot be ignored. It’s high time to resort to smart learning and implement IoT in education.

    Why does education need to go digital?

    More than one and a half million children of different ages and in different parts of the world are homeschooled today (their number has increased significantly since 2020 due to the pandemic, which hardly surprises you). Such a learning format still leaves much to be desired, though... leastwise, in the opinion of almost 50% of the parents surveyed.

    However, schooling within the walls of educational facilities isn't as productive as it used to be too, which is confirmed by statistics.

    IoT in education

    Let's briefly list the main problems of schools and universities (most of them are quite solvable by implementing IoT solutions for education):

    • An outdated approach to education. We live in the 21st century when the dreams of 20th-century science fiction writers are becoming reality... and nevertheless, we're still being taught in an old-fashioned way. Students are forced to learn to use programs, which have long gone out of demand and have been replaced by more modern solutions. This means these young people will enter the labor market ill-prepared. They'll have knowledge no employer really wants and needs. Therefore, they'll have no choice but to acquire new skills on their own. Have all these years of education been for nothing? What a ridiculous waste of time (and life)!

    • Standardized testing. Testing students' knowledge is also based on outdated methods and doesn't always reflect the real situation. Besides, such things as teacher bias and anxiety of the student who may fail the exam due to emotional distress negatively affect the test result too. None of the above will happen if an examiner uses the latest technology (such as the IoT platform for education) to test the skills of his students.

    • Boring learning process. Students constantly complain that the lessons are boring, and the new material is uninteresting… so it’s hardly surprising that they’re reluctant to go to school or university and have absolutely no desire to learn.

    • Anxious parents. Lately, life has become more hectic, and therefore parents are afraid to send their children to boarding schools and university campuses. They aren’t sure about their safety within the walls of the educational institution.

    • Unqualified teachers. Unfortunately, schools and universities are full of poorly trained specialists who don’t want to master new educational programs. As a result, students are being taught according to unqualified methods. Below, describing the benefits of IoT technology in the education process, we’ll offer you a couple of ways to solve such a sad problem.

    • The time-consuming process of organizing lessons. According to research conducted in the United States, at least a third of the lesson time is being spent by teachers trying to organize the educational process (say, roll-call of students, and the like). The whole thing seems to be highly unproductive.

    All of the above can easily be improved with the help of special IoT devices and software that supports it.

    benefits of IoT in education

    We'll give you a list of IoT education examples a little later, and for now, let's discuss another topic, no less interesting, namely… 

    Key Benefits of IoT in Education

    So, there are a number of problems in the education system. How to solve them through innovative technologies? What solutions does the modern IoT industry offer?

    • Improved school management. Managing a school or university is rather challenging. Dealing with all the documentation, tracking the movement of funds, and other activities of the sort take a lot of time and effort. And process digitalization is capable of automating a number of these tasks (albeit simple, but no less tedious).

    • Real-time data collection. Applications of IoT in education are constantly gathering and processing data from different sensors. And this data can improve the learning experience in one way or another. Here are just a few examples of how you might benefit from collecting and analyzing information:

      • monitoring students’ progress. Finding a decrease in the students' progress, you can assume timely measures to amend the situation.

      • keeping an eye on the professionalism of teachers. Earlier we mentioned the problem of poorly trained teachers. Happily, you'll have a chance to solve it by implementing IoT solutions for education. After that, you'll begin to receive unbiased information on the professional status of your employees (which is really unbiased since digital algorithms don't have their own opinion, they're just collecting and processing the data). So you'll always know which of the teachers has to be sent to refresher or advanced courses.

      • controlled access to data. You can, if necessary, provide access to certain data to members of your staff or even students (only non-confidential data, of course, such as training materials).

    • Worldwide coverage. IoT in education also means worldwide coverage. To be precise, the software working in conjunction with IoT devices is available anywhere in the world. Therefore, we get the opportunity to combine training programs together and create uniform standards of education (which implies a better exchange of learning experiences among students and teachers around the world).

    • A fascinating learning format. When discussing problems in education, we explained to you that students get bored in lessons and lectures. The Internet of Things opens up a lot of opportunities to diversify the learning process by adding a game element to it and making it more fun. In other words, we inspire students to enjoy learning. 

    • Digitalization of the organizational process. Also, IoT applications in schools and universities allow automating many organizational arrangements during lessons (the problem mentioned above as well). We mean the introduction of individual attendance trackers, student cloud logs, automatic test checking, smart microphones to support lesson teaching, and other similar solutions.

    • No emotional pressure. A lot of students suffer from emotional pressure when the teacher becomes something of a bully and begins to scold the chosen victim, criticize his progress or behavior, and does so in front of everyone. Internet of Things technology can save young folks from the need to be reprimanded in public. Communication between students and teachers takes place through their personal devices in the Silent Messages mode.

    • Enhanced security. Parents are worried about their children and their well-being, which is totally okay. And it is the responsibility of the school or university management to ensure the safety of the students. There are many examples of IoT in Education able to provide the desired effect and set the older generation's minds at rest: CCTV cameras and IoT sensors installed in key locations (classrooms, cafeterias, stadiums, etc.), drones flying around the campus, and so on. Thus, the supervising staff of the educational institution will always know where this or that student is and what he or she is doing.

    • Remote education. Given the situation with the pandemic, no one is able to predict when we might again be forced to return to maximum social distancing. Fortunately, the modern world offers us a great many options to maintain a normal lifestyle without even leaving our home. And education is no exception! Lessons in the format of webinars, online chatting, working on educational material using special software: these are just some of the IoT features worthy of attention.

      • By the way, IoT solutions in educational environments give teachers the ability to control the class remotely (say, if he is sick, but doesn’t want to deprive students of his lecture) using voice or gesture commands. 

    • Improving the learning experience. By collecting student feedback, the school or university management gets a real opportunity to analyze the data (reviews) received and determine a further growth strategy.

    • Contactless payments. The creation of a cashless environment can also be listed among the benefits of IoT in education. After all, students won't have to carry cash around the campus, which might reduce lines at canteens and cafes and minimize theft of pocket money.

    • Individual approach. In addition to less emotional bullying and a variety of learning formats, the Internet of Things helps to personalize the educational process (which also positively affects the desire of students to acquire new knowledge). Special devices record the student's achievements in different disciplines, after which the software analyzes the data obtained and draws up an educational program depending on his abilities.

      • Meeting the needs of children with disabilities is a great example of how innovative technologies are improving the lives of students (as an individualized approach to teaching such children is key).

    • Monitoring the health of students. Perhaps you sometimes hear on the news that a certain student became ill during the lesson and was urgently hospitalized. Alas, such cases aren't as rare as one might hope. And many of them could be prevented with the help of the Internet of Things (namely, by introducing IoT solutions in schools and universities). Special sensors would regularly monitor the basic health indicators of each student and signal the slightest deviation from the norm before it leads to serious consequences.

    • Better resource management. Most often, the Internet of Things is used to maintain an energy-saving mode, control water and electricity costs, etc. (one just needs to program the system so that it follows a certain algorithm to turn various household devices on and off). The management of any educational institution can also resort to smart technology to reduce its operating costs.

    Real-life examples of IoT in Education

    We’ve described the main advantages of the Internet of Things technology to the education system. But what about specific examples? Let’s provide you with a couple of them!

    • Interactive screens. Perhaps we should start with special screens (touchpads) built into teachers’ boards and students’ desks. They allow the teacher to eliminate the tedious and time-consuming need to write something on a regular blackboard with chalk. And why should he act in such an old-fashioned manner if he now has a touch screen at his service? Moreover, students react to learning material in the same way (by touching a desk with a built-in interactive screen).

    • Voice-to-text technology. Students may use a voice-featured IoT platform for education to take notes while learning some new material. The voice application converts their speech to text and saves it in a digital notepad.

    • Webcams in classrooms. Webcams do more than just keep the students safe by secretly monitoring their movements and activities (which is rather a task of CCTV cameras). And as to webcams, you should install them to help broadcast lectures online and organize virtual classrooms. 

      • A great way to use webcams is to give students interactive tours. In the end, you can endlessly describe the delights of the Statue of Liberty and show its pictures, but it's much more useful to see the attraction in question in reality... or during a video tour (it's still better than just an immovable, static image).

    • Electronic bracelets. In describing the benefits of IoT technology in the education system, we talked about the possibility to implement a personalized teaching approach and control over students' attendance and progress. All this is possible thanks to special electronic bracelets.

    • Head sensors. Attached to the student's head, the sensor monitors his brain activity and emotional state. It makes no sense to constantly wear such a device, but in certain situations, it might be very handy.

    • Smart classrooms. And, of course, you’re welcome to create smart classrooms for students and thereby combine all of the above technologies into a single coherent system. A smart classroom is able to identify students, record their attendance and progress, control devices such as interactive whiteboards, projectors, personal computers (turn them on and off according to a given algorithm), and perform other similar tasks. Say, why not give your teaching staff the opportunity to remotely monitor and manage classrooms?

    Surely, we've given you an incomplete list of IoT education examples. The IoT market is full of ideas and solutions, and new cool developments appear every year.

    Everything seems to be just perfect... but is it really so rosy? Or is there any flip side? 

    The answer is yes, alas, there is. And you should know what the cons are before proceeding.

    Challenges of IoT in education

    • These technologies are too costly! You’ll have to fork out to get powerful hardware and software and provide good Wi-Fi coverage. You’ll need computers, tablets, identification systems, and more. 

    • You must hire an experienced tech team. Without the help of specialists, you’re unlikely to properly implement and effectively manage an IoT system. And experts don't work for free, you know. 

    • Time to find a new data management solution.  We’re 100% sure your existing software is outdated, and you need a new solution to manage your data. 

    • Security comes first! Any cloud software is subject to all sorts of risks and cyber threats, and IoT applications in the education industry confirm the rule too.

      • In the fall of 2016, hackers created a modified Mirai virus, which infected at least 5 million IoT devices in different countries around the world, including Germany, the UK, and Brazil. It sounds sad and frightening but doesn't serve as a reason to abandon innovation. You just need to do your best to ensure proper data protection (as we said, you should hire a tech team, and it’ll do the job).

    • The action plan is now a must. Alas, you won't be able to completely secure your IoT environment, no matter how powerful data protection tools you use. So you need to think over a plan of action in case something like a hacker attack or data leak happens. 

    • IoT implementation policy. Before you start creating your IoT network, you have to draw up a special document (a kind of guide to integrating IoT in education). It'll detail how and to whom you plan to provide access to data, what smart devices and software you want to implement, how you're going to protect the information space, and so on.

    Top IoT Applications in Education

    Despite the title, we'd like to start our section not with a story about a specific application (one of them is discussed below anyway) but with a description of the complete IoT-based university environment. The system in question includes software, smart devices, and other aspects making it work correctly.

    We're talking about the Australian University named after John Curtin, whose campus is taking advantage of the latest Internet of Things technologies. Everything revolves around collecting and analyzing data on student attendance, classroom and library occupancy, teacher performance, and more. Using this information, the university administration makes more strategic decisions on the organization of the educational process.

    It’s rather interesting and inspiring, right? Well, we have a couple of other exciting examples of IoT in education, although they're less ambitious (but still significant).

    Edmodo

    Edmodo is a bit like a social network. Its target audience includes teachers and students (whose parents are welcome to join the team too).

    Edmodo was created in 2008 and has achieved significant success in the first 5 years (for example, it was ranked among the best teacher-focused apps). 

    Edmodo offers a ton of useful features, such as creating virtual classrooms, teaching lessons, tracking student progress, and more. Teachers get the opportunity to exchange experiences with each other and share their knowledge and expertise with students. 

    Using Edmodo is quite easy: a teacher sign-ups in a few simple steps and creates his virtual classroom. Then he sends a registration code to students and their parents, and that's it, it's time to get started!

    Education is far from the only area where the Internet of Things can be successfully used. Any business would benefit from the introduction of IoT technology.

    We discussed the IoT-based campus and mentioned the digital learning platform… and the only thing left to do is to give an instance of the smart device, which is used in many offices and universities. Thus, we’ll complete our rather short (but impressive!) list of IoT education examples. 

    Magicard Ultima

    Magicard Ultima is a printer for issuing personalized contactless plastic cards, a kind of electronic passes to the territory of an office or (in our case) a university. And such cards aren’t just a piece of plastic, they carry information on their owners (students or teachers if it's about educational institutions).

    Among the benefits of IoT in education, as we've discussed earlier, is the ability to provide students' safety. And Magicard Ultima, too, serves these very purposes: no outsider will enter the campus!

    Summary

    Surely, IoT devices and various sensors are important, but they won't work properly on their own: or, rather, they won't provide you with the learning experience you’re counting on. You need efficient software to help you manage the entire process.

    Our team is ready to assist you. We have a wealth of experience in web and mobile development; what's more, we've already created IoT software solutions.

    Willing to take advantage of our experience in IoT development? Then contact us right now and we'll start making your dreams come true.
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