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Education industry 2017-11-22

Internet of Things: A preferred Medium Of Teaching

Through IoT technology, educationists can now push out real-time information to students from multiple sources. Let's know more...

By Uttara.J. Malhotra Feature writer

Internet is connecting us with everything and everywhere; so not just a laptop or a smartphone, but your refrigerator and other equipment can be made into a smart object of use.  According to a 2016 survey by Extreme Networks, today schools are making extensive use of this technological smartness or IoT technology (in other words) to meet various needs like to track school buses, attendance and student ID cards, and to monitor lighting and security systems, among many other things.

Industry experts also believe that by 2020, approximately 20 billion things will be digitally connected, while others estimate the growth at 40-50 billion. Irrespective of all this, undeniably, market spending is also likely to substantially increase. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the market for IoT solutions worldwide is expected to reach USD 7.1 trillion by 2020. Let us take a closer look at the emerging educational advantage from IoT technology.

IoT Advantages
Within classroom settings, IoT technology is really helping interact, bond and communicate with their peers, mentors and educators worldwide; all this is made possible using connected devices such as digital highlighters and interactive boards. So, while a student maybe sitting in the comfort of his or her home or classroom, interaction is always possible. It is as if physical dimension does not hold a restriction anymore. Digital scanners aid the learning experience by digitally transferring text to smartphones. Similarly, interactive boards simplify and accelerate learning by receiving, acknowledging and reciprocating information.

George Siemens, the executive director of the University of Texas at Arlington’s Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Lab believes that “The big potential for IoT lies in making the physical digital.”

Book reading has become a completely difference experience all together. For one, Quick Response (QR) codes have made their way into the school textbooks. As a result, feedback, assignments and additional knowledge resources have become easily accessible to students where they can scan the QR codes with their smartphones. So, we are looking at a time, when smartphones would be as simple as carrying a pencil or pen to school.

Another interesting use of IoT technology is in tracking physical objects or even birds and animals round the clock. This can now be done through Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips and children are able to do some real time learning of a different world all together, away from textbooks.

A very significant challenge to this promising technology is the fact that unfortunately, wealthier cities, counties and states that are far more progressive ‘in terms of utilizing all the capabilities of IoT’ will be able to support growth in school children much faster than rural states and low-income ­communities. So, combating this divide is important. Educationists admit, that “through IoT technology, one can now push out real-time information to students from multiple sources, rather than using one outdated textbook. It is definitely a cultural change for us as well — not just teaching from a textbook but being able to have real-time data.”

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