With every business developing their dependency on the internet, education institutions have also not been staying behind in the race. In fact, the e-learning model has long been adopted by many schools and colleges. Their decision of transforming the traditional-education practice into an internet based system is certainly delivering them lots of advantages. Their effort to provide high-level education has been successful. Also, they have been successful in emerging as a technology-driven brand among their competitors.
But this isn’t just that. The internet based learning is now ready to take another big shift with the technology of IoT which, in comparison of its earlier implementations, is becoming more prevalent because of smartphones.
Bringing in IoT to schools/colleges does not only allow them to provide better education but also improve several practices, such as keeping track of resources, advancing access to information, and above all improving campus safety.
Allow me to introduce some challenges that education institutions constantly face:
- The traditional education system is too costly to bear with
- Hard to handle classes with low teachers-student ratio
- Un-optimized learning even after being online
- Constantly increasing operational cost
- No use of data analytics to improve practices
- Low level of safety & security
- No or less community learning efforts
Now let me suggest some solutions that can intelligently beat all the above mentioned challenges with the use of IoT hardware and IoT application development.
- The first and foremost thing do – mobile adaptation
The very first thing to do is introduce mobility to learning. When smartphones and apps are involved in providing education and learning, it becomes easier for schools to apply the technology of IoT.
- Introducing data analytics to spot all problems areas
IoT needs data, a lot of data. With data analytics, IoT app developers are able to inspect, clear, transform, and model the right data required in setting up the most functional IoT hardware and software environment.
With data-analytics, schools / colleges formulate learning styles, understand the preferences of students, teachers, and other staff-members and then apply IoT to make their day-to-day activities simpler and more productive.
- Introducing game-based learning and simulation
Internet of Things and other emerging technologies can help universities and colleges offer an immersive learning experience. IoT can also be applied to design an integrated virtually-reality environment that appears more like the gamification of learning, not just pages with text-notes. Presenting educational and learning content in this way engages pupils easier than anything can do. In fact, no chapter goes unlearned when the learning is presented in game-based and simulation content. Subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, and even mathematics can be presented in this way.
The blend of IoT with augmented reality goes a step further. Users are able to interact with the real-world information in the real time. The blend bridges the gap between real world and digital world.
- Safety and Health
IoT can be applied to make a school or college live up the standards of safety and health. The health of students is the key determiner of their academic performance. Health-issues may affect their motivation and the ability to keep learning and participating in activities. Therefore, it’s necessary for an educational institution to provide a healthy environment for students.
With IoT, e-Health solutions can be designed to not only manage but to monitor various health-related issues of students. Similarly, IoT can also be used to ensuring safety inside class rooms and in the campuses of schools. Emergency indicators, audio enhancement, Wi-Fi clocks, and hearing impaired notifications help students, teachers, and other staff feel and live with the sense of safety.
- Energy optimization
There are a number of IoT-enabled sensors which can be applied to save energy in a building. Schools / college work in office-like settings where people hold buildings / rooms /spaces for a long period of time. These buildings and rooms inside them have lights, heat, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Of course, all these systems consume a lot of electricity and keep increasing the cost of running operations. With IoT sensors not only electricity consumed by many appliances can be cut to surprising limits but also, appliances can also be controlled wirelessly, even at/from remote locations.
- Student monitoring
Similarly, IoT sensors can also be incorporated to monitor students. These sensors can be used in hallways and at doors to keep a count on the number of people who have entered or left a building or floor. There are IoT-enabled badges that schools can use to tell where exactly each of the students in the building. There may be 10 of ways IoT-enabled sensors can be used for monitoring students.
- Students’ Transportation Tracking and safety
IoT can help a school make students’ transportation between homes and the school safer and smarter. Vehicle tracking has been there for more than a decade; however, it has also been failing because of an integrated story of devices, connectivity or application. But with the advent of IoT, the task of school bus tracking isn’t just about GPS tracking. It fulfills the needs of both schools administration and patents.
On one the hand, schools will be able to get the real time location of buses, plan best routs to have maximum coverage for a single bus, deviation alerts, over speeding, etc.
On the other hand, parents would track a bus carrying their children in real time and will get timely notifications for pick-ups and drop-offs.
- Workforce management
There are tens of other employees who contribute to smoothly running operations in a school. The school can use IoT sensors to effectively manage this workforce and keep track of employees in real time. This will help schools stay assured that employees assigned with important roles present there to take care of their responsibilities.
These are few examples explaining how the technology of IoT can be used by schools in improving not only their education practices but also in managing, controlling and organizing a variety of internal and external tasks.