There's this big buzzword flying around the interwebs most recently (or maybe as early as 2014 - or even earlier), and it has been causing quite a stir among businesses. Everyone's main concern is how to be ready for its implementation and how to maximize its use once it starts rolling out. Just an FYI - that buzzword is the 'Internet of Things/Everything.'
To know more about what it is and what it does, you can read a previous post here.
Last 2013, CISCO, a big proponent of the IoT/E, did a study on the potential contribution of the Internet of Everything on education. If you look at the table on the left (or below), CISCO predicted the potential changes that IoT/E can bring to education by 2017. You can view the full report here.
The CISCO report also focuses on the 4 Pillars of IoT/E in Education: People, Process, Data, and Things - and how they will be revolutionized by the IoT/E,
Let's take a look at how these four pillars will be impacted:
When the IoT/E gets implemented for education, learners and teachers won't be limited to static curricula, resulting to learning paths that are more dynamic. With MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses - you can read more about MOOCs here) becoming more prevalent, learners can now choose what they need to learn, based on their current requirements. Moreover, MOOCs allow people to learn from anyone, anywhere, at anytime; thus, scaling teachers, content, and the quality of instruction.
With the implementation of the Internet of Things/Everything, educational processes can also be given an upgrade. Assessments will be taken quite differently from the way that we know it now (ex. pen and paper); they might even be obsolete because applied learning will be the new scorecard. Learners' performance can be gauged based on how they interact with objects and the environment during a simulation. The results, in turn, can be then further used to customize a student's learning path.
Data collection is the number one driver for IoT/E's application and implementation. Just think how many learners and researchers IoT/E can help if objects can easily be tagged, automatically gathered data from, and the collected data be then used for analysis. This results in more accurate research and less time and effort in garnering the required data; thus, making research more effective and less costly.
Another use for IoT/E for data collection is for students to track their habits in order to build healthier ones. Obesity has been an issue for the youth - especially in the US, and through the Internet of Things, students can keep track of their exercise, calorie intake, vitals, and physical activity.
Another driver for IoT/E is the inter-connectivity of 'things.' CISCO defined 'things' as objects that can be connected to the internet and people through the use of sensors. If these 'things' can be connected to each other, everyday items can be utilized to boost performance or can be customized based on how they're used.
In education, these connected 'things' can be tracked by students, real-time, Data from tagged objects can be stored on the internet and accessed by learners, on-demand. A perfect example of such is learning vocabulary for other languages. With IoT/E, students can access tagged objects in the environment and learn the appropriate terms in different languages.
Another use for these interconnected 'things' are for school and student safety. These can be used for monitoring school facilities such as controlling security cameras and motion sensors - therefore making schools a safer place for students and teachers.
There you go! That's how the Internet of Things can revolutionize education. If you have anything to add to our list, please feel free to use the comments section below. Cheers!