The Internet of Things (IoT) is a changing dynamic in the field of education. The adaptation of the digital tools is not just making education omnipresent but also it is making traditional systems of education more efficient and inclusive.
Smartphones and tablets in digital classrooms are being used by students for almost all age groups. The explanation of the complex processes via augmented reality and graphics is taking place to cater to a better understanding. Schools and educational institutes are keeping an online real-time track record of the student's progress on their portals.
Learning platforms are evolving with live classes, pre-recorded lectures and problem-solving capacities all connected to a special server and software personalized for educational use.
All of this is how IoT has taken the education world by storm.
What is IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) is a complex wireless network of thousands of devices hence generated to share, collect, create and receive all kinds of information.
These devices could be anything ranging from biochips to mobile phones to sensors to a huge system monitoring all of them connected to each other. Everything that is physical and extends its qualities to a virtual space is a part of the internet of things.
Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, big data, web-based system smart devices, appliances, and whatnot, all fall under this huge category as long as they operate on the internet and have a software-based device equipped with that.
IoT and Education
The education sector is one of the most adaptive and effective in terms of deploying IoT devices to its usage, in order to make education more collaborative, interactive, and accessible to all.
IoT devices give students reliable access to everything from learning materials to communication channels to good understanding, and they give teachers the ability to measure student learning progress in real-time.
Speaking of education, the COVID-19 pandemic has sufficiently highlighted the essential presence of educational sources.
IoT just enables the shift in teaching methodology from traditional to digital with several additional benefits and increased efficiency.
This can be used for teaching all the subjects ranging from languages to maths to teaching practical skills like medical sciences with the use of graphics and animation to improve a better understanding of the subject matter.
Not just these smart attendance devices, boards, integrated alarm systems in schools, assessment checking tools, cameras, school locks, everything can move from the physical world to the central system-based control world and with automation.
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Applications of IoT in Education
Technology has helped in elevating the dynamics and scope of learning, IoT is enabling education to become effectively practical and in certain cases surpass the boundaries of the institutes.
1. Evolving Methodologies
When we speak of IoT in education we primarily indicate the incorporation of digital and internet-based smart devices for the students and teachers in the educational institutes.
Modern-day education platforms are adapting devices like e-books which can be downloaded and are available with zooming and saving features, smart boards instead of blackboards which can be used as a whiteboard to write with a marker and also can display topic related images and graphics to the students.
Such devices are connected to a central server that can control and monitor the syllabus wise and topic-wise categorization for the students.
Not just this, voice command systems for teachers, speech to text-based note-taking systems for the students, smart security cameras, GPS tracker equipped school buses, disaster alarms and tablets, and smartphones with educational applications are changing how the traditional schools and educational systems have always operated.
These features make it safer, convenient, and accessible for the students, teachers, and parents. This is a well-understood fact that immediate transition of ways of teaching and methodologies can not be implemented but slowly and gradually such devices are being personalized and updated with the required software.
In this case, students can read traditional books and yet can benefit from IoT in the form of smart boards in the class displaying the animated and 3D versions of the topics explained to induce better learning.
2. Automated Attendance Recording
Attendance of the student is a concern for the teachers and in the schools that is an everyday task with no alternative. IoT can help in providing a solution to this hefty task of recording attendance and calculating it for various purposes.
IoT can help in reducing this task for almost every class. Biometric attendance or barcode-based with the identity card number of the student can be used in automatically recording the attendance as they enter the classroom. In this way, there is barely any chance of discrepancy and storage.
This will not enable the teachers to devote more time to their primary concern which is teaching the students but such systems can be made more effective by sending a direct message to the pupil’s parents of their absence in the classroom, making them aware of the situation.
The same feature can be used in taking the attendance and lecture count of the teacher, the school’s helping staff can also record their entry and leaving timing using their id and biometrics so that there is a clear track record of everything.
3. Safety in Premises
Most schools lack the infrastructure to detect red flags for theft, abuse, sexual assault, and other crimes that can occur within the institution, nor do they have a proper contingency plan in the case of a disaster or emergency.
IoT can help in solving such issues at a vast level, in the case of any intolerable activity that gets monitored on the camera, it can be immediately taken care of due to a network system that enables the camera recording to be displayed at various screens in the premises.
In the case of any fire or short circuit, IoT-based sensors can activate alarms with the exact area of the problem so that there is less hassle and danger in resolving the issue.
Also, if anyone tries to break in the school smart door lock via sensors and alerts can be turned on and help can be called automatically. This will not just ensure safety but a relief in the management systems which have to face such issues once in a while.
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4. Distance Learning
IoT-based systems have a feature of storing and formulating data in an application form with special software and in the form of a sign-in feature of websites that enables anyone from anywhere accessing that with a user id and a password which can be provided by the institution to their distance learning learners.
This can help each and everyone who cannot be a part of a legit educational institution but still want to pursue its educational course. Live classes, pre-recorded classes, online timer-based assessment questions, tracking of time spent on the portal can all help in creating a comprehensive approach for distance learners.
During the COVID19 pandemic, this has been the entire course of educational institutions, making material provide online, open booklet-based assessment has made it possible for the student to not miss out on their studies for junior classes and mid-year semesters.
Applications of IoT in Education
5. Enhanced Interaction and Productivity
Smartphone-based virtual application-based classes make the students more interactive. When they are able to understand more and clearly as mentioned above they are also able to think beyond the horizons of the classrooms and communicate and voice their learning and doubts.
This interaction-based learning can in turn make the students keener about participation and involvement in the assessments, activities, and even self-learning via scanning the codes on the books to be able to see the digital version of the same.
They can even revise the taught topic again at their own convenience from their educator’s web portal and be able to access the material provided by them. This entire process is well suited for making the students productive as well as enhance their abilities.
6. AR Equipped Systems
Augmented Reality can be understood as an enhanced version of the real world to be presented in a more understandable way with the help of computerized tools.
IoT-based devices and systems can be made even more efficient by the use of AR, proper markings and details can be presented to the students just by the scan of a barcode against the topic they are studying.
AR with its graphics and sounds combined with a software system can provide enhanced details and 3D visions of the topic being taught, for example, the anatomy of a human ear can be better understood in an animated way than by theoretical explanations read out loud in the classroom.
Such study materials can be slowly and gradually be updated in the school systems and portal by the management authorities enabling the students to find and see animated depictions of the topics wherever they deem fit.
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7. Special Education
Sometime back this was almost impossible and comparatively tough for the specially-abled students to get the normal and detailed education.
With the incorporation of IoT tools and smart devices, the educational curriculum is being specially modified and classroom environments are being made sound and light-sensitive to cater to the special needs of the students with sensory disabilities.
For example, They can seek help from a system of sensor-connected gloves and a tablet to generate verbal speech, translated from sign language which the teachers can use while teaching the concepts extended to what's mentioned in the books.
8. Close Monitoring
No matter whether the website portal is being used from within the school premises or from somewhere else, there is always an option to monitor the activities and time spent by the student on a particular topic.
The sensors of the Internet of Things in education collect data and automatically suggest academic topics of interest to the students for further learning processes. Also, there can be easily made out as to who has been a part of which assessment and even scoring and progress can be kept a track of.
Insofar as that to prevent the usage of misuse and unnecessary activities students' smartphones connected to school wifi systems can get internet usage for a specific usage application made for the specific purpose.
Devices can also be altered and designed in a way to support certain kinds of applications and systems only with parental controls and teachers monitoring features.
IoT solutions for education have come up with answers to enhance the quality of education across the globe by making it easy to understand and available to all. IoT is being implemented in certain schools at their own pace of adoption as it is an expensive investment.
Pertaining to IoT’s advantages and vast area of operation, this is worth investing in for this sector. A lot of educational platforms are recently surfacing and that’s solely because IoT-enabled devices to come with features of extended education at convenient, easy to use, and safe platforms for the teachers and students.