"We are all now connected by the Internet like neurons in a giant brain," said Stepehen Hawking. The internet has drastically changed our lives. Like in almost every other sector, the Internet has been a blessing for the education sector as well. Principally since the onset of the pandemic, which led to the shutdown of educational institutions across the globe, locking millions of students and educators out of the classrooms, online teaching, and digital platforms have become the cornerstone of teaching.
The Indian education system has gone toe-to-toe with developed nations to become one of the top three nations in terms of investment and growth of the Ed-tech industry. Today, we have more than 4000 tech startups in India, out of which more than 400 came to be in the last two years alone. This has contributed to the development of some of the best apps to teach online and the rapid digitalization of the education sector.
One wonderful innovation in digital space today is the internet of things or IoT in short. According to Oracle.com, The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe a network of physical objects- “things” – which have embedded sensors in them and are guided by software, and other technologies with the purpose of connecting and exchanging information with other devices and systems over the internet. Unlike the internet, which is a worldwide connection of computer networks, the devices in an IoT can range from ordinary household objects like TVs, microwaves, Washing Machines, Refrigerators, and likewise to sophisticated industrial tools. According to experts, the Internet of Things (IoT) could find useful applications in the education sector and could be a valuable addition to the already flourishing tech industry. In this article, we look at 5 ways in which IoT systems could be useful for the education sector.
Efficient management of Schools
Managing an educational institution is an extensive task involving a lot of paperwork, maintenance of records, supply chain management, allocation of funds for various tasks vital for the seamless functioning of the institution. IoT systems can lay the groundwork for a swift, reliable, automated, and inter-linked decision-making system where all members of the institution (educators, students, guardians) can participate in the decision-making process for improving upon the present state of facilities and the system. Therefore, IoT solutions can really streamline the management process in educational institutions, be it the upper level, middle level, or lower-level management decisions.
Real-Time gathering and processing of Data-
IoT systems can process a large volume of data simultaneously, therefore such systems can be implemented to a variety of scenarios that require simultaneous processing of terabytes of data, for example, as safety monitoring systems, student progress tracking, monitoring educators, and professional guidance and training to teachers and the like. Upper management officials like principals or the education ministries could use real-time data from such IoT systems to enhance the efficacy and efficiency of evaluation and grading or when looking to view and improve upon their teaching methodologies.
Efficient management of Resources-
IoT systems work on real-time data processing which makes them very accurate in predicting the needs of the educational institutions and informs the management about the best possible allocation of their resources which will yield the best output and reduce wastage. It also reduces operating costs in the long run and also storage costs by providing better inventory management. Furthermore, IoT devices can be employed to warrant the efficiency of water and energy consumption efforts.
A Global Network-
IoT systems are interconnected and global in nature. This helps educators in maintaining a uniform standard of education and in ensuring that high-quality and equally efficient education is being imparted to each student connected to the institution worldwide. IoT systems can and do support worldwide peer-to-peer learning and professional training programs, where teachers from across the globe can discuss ideas and exchange tips and their teaching practices. There are also discussion groups for students, in which they can share study materials globally, and participate in discussions which are helpful in raising the educational standards worldwide.
Safety Applications for Educational Institutions-
Internet of Things opens up a wide array of possibilities for the development and deployment of innovative safety tools for schools and colleges. Some of the notable ones are video-monitoring tools that can provide on-demand information, student safety escorts that involve drones for accompanying students to and from their destination, smoke and vape sensors, and likewise.
These are only a few of the many possible applications of the Internet of Things in the education sector.