Learning Smart: The Use of IoT in the Classroom

By Special Guest
Jaroslaw Czaja, CEO, Future Processing
April 12, 2017

The streets that students walk to their classes on are becoming smarter. The car that gives them a lift to campus is ever more likely to be linked to the internet. The tech in their pocket, tucked in their bag, or strapped to their wrist makes them more connected than ever before. But as soon as students enter the classroom, pen and paper note-taking from word of mouth presentations makes interconnectivity take something of a step backwards.

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), we are now able to learn faster and more effectively than ever before. The emergence of smart tech and internet-enabled devices has cut down on traditional bottlenecks in the learning process, as well as pushing the boundaries of what information is available at users’ fingertips. With no sign of IoT developments slowing, the next stage for ‘smarter’ education is to see optimisation not just in individual processes, but across the entire field of learning. Here are some instrumental changes that those involved in education will soon begin to see.

Real-time insight
Insight into a student’s progress has traditionally come at marked points during an academic cycle, including test results, end-of-term reports, and periodic peer reviews. This system is open to several problems when it comes to the implementation of knowledge, the most pertinent being that students who learn at different rates are being presented with the same resources, often resulting in a performance discrepancy. Now, as IoT-enabled tablets replace traditional pen and paper, teachers will be able to monitor the notes that students are taking in real time and can track their understanding of a topic. The individuals absorbing information at a slower rate than their classmates can be sent extra notes, exercises or pointers in real time, bringing everyone up to the same level.

Better visualisation
Whilst few teachers or students would be surprised by the dominance of laptops and smart devices over traditional materials in the classroom, they may not appreciate the opportunity for optimised learning experiences that smart whiteboards/screens provide. Instead of focusing on just what students are absorbing, teachers can ensure that what they offer is going to engage the greatest number of eyes and ears. The IoT means interactive content will become the norm, and everything from distributing exercises to marking papers will become automated and streamlined.

Safer with the IoT
Smart tech is capable of reducing many traditional problems facing students and their carers. Parents’ natural concern for their children is so deeply ingrained so as not to be affected by the proliferation of new tech solutions, yet even here the IoT can provide help. GPS-enabled school buses let parents track their kid’s journey to and from school each day. From a campus or school site security perspective, the introduction of IoT-enabled wristbands means that students can clock in and out – so no more sneaking out at lunchtime or between lessons. This measure also helps to prevent intruders and other unauthorised persons entering school premises.

Schooling has traditionally prepared students for entry into the adult world, whether that is in the home or the workplace. As the IoT changes the landscape of their futures, it will be no surprise to see it change the space where students spend their formative years as well.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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