Traditional K-12 education has always focused on a predetermined syllabus and then parroting it back in standardized tests. This may have had its benefits in the bygone era of the early industrial revolution, but in today’s fast shrinking world, education is expected to enhance and nurture individual talents.
Today, IoT is bringing about rapid transformation in almost every sphere of our lives— from medicine to hospitality, from communication to entertainment. Why, then, should education lag far behind?
With its proven value of connectedness, IoT promises to impact K-12 education in three significant and interrelated ways—making learning easier, making teaching more effectual, and increasing efficiencies at the school admin level.
Teachers and students have long borne the brunt of ever-widening teacher-student ratios. While teachers are under pressure to magically produce consistently excellent test results, geniuses in the back row languish for lack of individual mentorship.
Youth, the Front Runners in Tech Adoption
Students today are technophiles. Popularly known as Generation Z, they are used to having access to five screens (as opposed to the Millennials who used only three): a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad. Students think nothing of bringing all or a few of these devices to school. Technology, then, is the key to grabbing and maintaining the interest of today’s pupils.
IoT creates an effective 1:1 schooling experience, from automatically marking a student’s attendance as soon as they enter school to downloading personalized study material on their devices. Student progress becomes quantifiable. As students move from one lesson to the next, their learning is streamlined with constant tracking of their individual work. With access to assignments and lessons at the click of a button, students are made more accountable than ever before. No more excuses of the dog having chewed their homework! Smart teaching solutions translate into less pressure and more productivity as individuals assess and set their own goals without feeling overwhelmed or not challenged enough. Students can collaborate with their classmates virtually, doing away with preset timetables—meeting, collaborating, and presenting from any area within or outside of school.
Lessen the Teacher’s Workload
IoT integration into the education system creates a seamless interactive base that benefits teachers as well. From core teaching work, such as creating lessons and modules and grading papers, to communicating with parents and apprising them of their child’s progress, a teacher often works long, tiring hours. Once IoT-empowered teachers no longer require classrooms, they can teach their students anywhere using shared lessons, interactive apps, videos, and even social media, thus enriching learning with experience.
Less Spending and More Savings for Schools
Schools spend a significant amount of their resources merely keeping the juggernaut rolling. With a perennial resource crunch in almost every school district, teachers are able to save time and resources by using connectivity to share and implement resources.
The cost of using paper is fairly high. Digitalization means that this money could be spent on more pressing needs that the school may have.
Energy efficiency is the need of the hour, both for our institutions as well as the world. IoT-enabled control of HVAC and other mechanical equipment can contribute significantly to lowering energy consumption. The ability to monitor, analyze, and ultimately control how and where energy is spent can translate into substantial savings.
Schools’ Safety First
With unfortunate yet realistic fears of school shootings and violence, institutions are struggling to find ways to keep their pupils and property safe. Here, too, IoT is of tremendous help. Schools are able to install levers or buttons that create customized lockdown systems. These can be used so that small areas or even the entire premises can be locked down at the touch of a button. It can also be used to restrict or control access to and from the building in case of an emergency. Security cameras that are accessed through cloud and fitted with sensors can alert administrators in case of any untoward events, while at the same time transmitting video to the police so that they can monitor the situation in transit to the school.
Leveraging IoT in education can foster a learning environment that is efficient and efficacious. Around 75 percent of educators believe that technology has a positive impact on education today. Given the fact that Gen Z is already technologically empowered, there’s a clear winning case for installing IoT in schools.
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