Role and Impact of IoT Technologies in the Education Industry

Updated on:  

IoT (Internet of Things) in education is transforming the way learning used to work, both for students and educators.

The technology connects physical devices and objects with the internet to make learning more engaging and convenient.

At present, IoT is witnessing widespread adoption fueled by the need for innovation and the desire to become smarter not only in organizational setup but also at the individual level.

In this article, we will understand the importance and impact of IoT in the education sector.


Role of IoT in Education

Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices and objects embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies in order to connect and exchange data between different systems and devices over the internet.

These devices could be advanced industrial systems like robots and consumer-grade wearables or smart home systems like smart refrigerators and voice assistants.

IoT in education has been a game-changer move. With time, more and more educational institutions are using IoT technologies, especially after the pandemic. They use IoT-enabled devices in their learning infrastructure to streamline processes and ease life for the management, educators, students, and parents.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global market size for IoT in education is expected to grow from US$4.8 billion in 2018 to US$11.3 billion by 2023, registering an 18.8% CAGR.

IoT in Education market by region

IoT not only helps simplify these processes but also improves earning, and interactions between stakeholders, and optimizes feasibility and cost, among other benefits with the help of IoT-enabled devices, cloud platforms, customized software applications, analytics systems, and other systems.


Applications of IoT in Education

Some of the many applications of IoT in education include:

Tracking Devices

It’s important to monitor your students’ whereabouts to avoid risks. Since there could be a large number of students, you can’t possibly monitor each one of them separately by manual means. It’s where you can leverage IoT solutions for education. Tracking systems such as smart ID cards, school bus trackers, attendance trackers, parking sensors, etc. can help you there.

Smart Boards and Textbooks

Interactive digital media such as smart whiteboards, AR, VR, etc. help educators make learning engaging and immersive. Using these systems will also help you collect and analyze data in the classroom or outside at any time you want.

By analyzing this data, they can understand the gaps in their educational process and find ways to improve the learning process as well as results. They can even personalize learning using this data.

Similarly, digital notebooks enable students to access a large library of content easily which can frequently be updated to suit present needs. This allows students and parents to save money and is an eco-friendly alternative too.

Security Systems

Maintaining security in your institutional premises is undoubtedly necessary. Although you could keep security personnel, digital security systems are still necessary to be safe from advanced threats. IoT-enabled security systems such as wireless door locks, face recognition devices, surveillance cameras, etc. will help you provide enhanced security not only for your students but also teachers and staff.

Research and Study Programs

Institutions can leverage automated and advanced IoT systems in their research and study programs dedicated to fields such as engineering, medicine, etc. It will not only provide the students the opportunity to learn the concepts with advanced technologies but also empower the instructors. They can also utilize the power of AI and ML to connect databases, gain insights, and analyze researched data to accelerate innovation.

Operations

Educational institutions require a significant amount of energy in their premises to fuel their infrastructure and operations. IoT solutions like smart heating, air conditioning, and ventilation equipment, temperature sensors, and more will help them minimize energy consumption while enabling them to automate operations to save time, cost, and effort.

Accommodating with Disability

IoT can be helpful for students with certain disabilities such as difficulty in seeing or hearing. For example, hearing-impaired students can use connected gloves with a tablet for translating sign language into speech and turning sound into text. Similarly, students with difficulty in seeing can utilize IoT devices for education like a smart stick, a headset, and a mobile app to identify objects and walk home safely.

Remote Learning

The pandemic has taught us to cope with unprecedented changes. Whether working from home or learning from home, everything is now possible because of technology. IoT makes self-learning and distance learning possible using tablets and mobile applications.

Task-Based Learning

Task-based learning in the classroom enables the students to grasp the topic completely. With the use of IoT in education, students can share knowledge and collaborate easily to complete tasks better. With connected devices, they can also reach out to teachers quickly and seek help wherever in need.

Foreign Language Training

If you are learning a foreign language, real-time feedback is important to fine-tune your command of the language. Suppose you are learning Spanish. If you stay in Spain or a country where Spanish is spoken natively, it becomes easier to take real-time feedback and improve your skills. But, if you are not in a native country, it becomes harder to learn it.

With an IoT device, students can determine whether it not they are making correct statements or pronouncing words properly like a native with simulated environments. This way, educators can provide real-time feedback and monitor progress so the students can learn the language quickly and effectively.

Other applications of IoT in education include:

  • • Physical education
  • • Special education
  • • Improving student mental and physical health

Some Practical Examples of Using IoT in Education

Educational institutions are using IoT technologies for a variety of purposes, from content creation and lesson delivery to content management and classroom management. Here are some IoT in education examples:

  • • Tynker
    Tynker is a coding platform made for kids from age 7 and above. Educational institutions and schools are using Tynker to introduce kids to coding with self-paced courses. These courses help them engage in creative activities and code themselves easily.

  • • Blackboard
    Blackboard is another useful platform for educators to solve many challenges in learning. It helps them track students, manage classrooms, analyze data, provide personalized learning and remote learning, and gain many other benefits to transform how they teach.

  • • Kaltura
    Kaltura video platform offers video creation and management services to institutions and businesses to make learning engaging and interactive. Students and teachers can use this to create and manage video content with the help of the latest technologies and even edit and distribute them easily.

Benefits of IoT in Education

Some of the many benefits of IoT in education include:

Increase Management Efficiency

It requires a lot of effort and paperwork to manage the processes of an educational institution. You will need to properly distribute funds, track supply management, maintain student records and their academic progress, and so on.

The use of IoT in education enables institutions to perform management tasks faster and risk-free by looking at organized data and taking insights from it to shape decisions. It helps keep everyone in the loop from students and parents, to the school management, staff, and teachers.

Collecting Real-time Data

With IoT devices for education, you can collect a large amount of data accurately and organize them in a meaningful way. These systems are also capable of processing data in terabytes simultaneously.

As a result, it becomes easier for institutions to track student progress, their whereabouts, attendance, the performance of educators, training, and more in real time. They can use this data to improve their teaching methods and provide better training to educators to achieve better outcomes.

Effective Resource Management

Educational institutions need a significant amount of resources to run their facilities adequately. It involves high storage and operation costs along with energy requirements.

Using IoT in the education industry can help optimize energy and water consumption to minimize costs. This is also a great step towards environmental conservation.

Improved Accessibility

Today, education is not confined to the walls of an institution. Instead, anyone from any part of the world can connect and seek education from anywhere. IoT is basically a system that connects devices and physical objects to the internet so that users can accomplish their tasks.

This global nature of IoT-enabled systems allows educators to deliver education to anyone and improve their teaching standards. educators can connect with each other to shape their tips and tricks. Meanwhile, the course accessibility becomes easier and faster for students. They can also connect with other students and learn in groups, all virtually.

Enhanced Safety

Educational institutions need security for their students and staff as well as their infrastructure and systems. Manual ways are usually not enough in this advanced age since attackers have become smarter.

Using the internet of things in education in the form of systems such as tracking devices, video monitoring tools, vaping sensors, surveillance cameras, and other smart systems will help you keep track of every activity 24/7 and secure your students, staff, and infrastructure. This provides a sense of safety not only to students and teachers but the parents, promoting a safe learning environment for all.


Implementing IoT: Challenges (and How to Solve Them)

Despite the many benefits of IoT in education, there are certain challenges too that the management and officials must understand and put in efforts to overcome them. So, if you are implementing IoT in your institutions, you may have to face these challenges.

High Costs

Implementing IoT in an educational institution involves high costs toward systems, devices, software, hardware, and power to run them. Whether it’s deploying them for the first time on your premises or maintaining them periodically, it will require expert hands, which again is costly.

You may have to hire a skilled professional or tech team trained in data science and management, installation and maintenance, software development, security professionals, and so on. This becomes a big challenge for small-sized institutions and public-funded schools to install such advanced solutions.

Solution: Efforts are being made to counter the challenges mentioned above. Organizations are developing new and improved ways to make IoT-enabled systems more affordable and easier to implement. So, if you find difficulty with the costs, find IoT systems within your budget and hire a small team of experts, either in-house or on a contractual basis, to reduce the costs.

Data Security and Privacy

Data security and privacy are common but serious concerns for organizations. IoT devices collect and process huge volumes of data, which can lure in cyber threats such as data stealing, phishing stacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, ransomware, and so on. So, if you don’t use advanced, necessary technologies to keep your data private and secure, it can become disastrous for your institution in terms of money, fame, and student and parent trust in your institution.

Solution: When implementing IoT in your institution, make sure to use security policies and technologies to secure data from attackers. You must also spread awareness about the same among staff and students so they never fall prey to scams.

Also, if children are involved, it’s essential to secure collected data and ensure the stakeholders’ privacy. Educational institutions and parents must get assurance from the IoT service provider regarding the systems they will be using and understand effectively apply security and privacy measures.

You must use the right technologies and tools, such as a reliable open platform that all parties can easily use without extra investments.

Data Storage Issues

IoT involves a large amount of data collected which must be stored and organized properly. But many a time, institutions rely on on-premises storage systems that are not adequate and outdated too. It not only makes data unstable but also risky to get exposed or lost in an attack or natural disaster.

Solution: Using internet-connected systems and cloud-based storage systems, you can store a massive amount of data. You can also keep multiple copies at multiple places to ensure your data is safe even if one facility is down.

Complexity

IoT is still a new concept and constant developments are being done to improve its efficiency and usage. Therefore, when you first implement IoT in education, it might increase the complexity for students, educators, and management who are used to the traditional ways.

Solution: IoT in education is changing how learning is delivered. So, if you want your IoT implementation to be successful, you must make strict policies and decisions to ease this transformation. educational institutions must encourage stakeholders to use technology in educational environments like classrooms.


Conclusion

IoT in education is a significant move towards embracing technology. IoT-enabled devices and systems are helpful to all, from students and parents to teachers and management. These technologies help boost learning for students and make it more engaging with systems like AR, VR, and more. In addition, it allows educators to digitize the learning process and make their processes more efficient and streamlined.

Although there are many benefits to IoT in education, there are some challenges concerning security, cost, and more. Since IoT is still booming and more research is going on in this field, it’s expected that these issues will ease in the future with more efficient and productive IoT-enabled systems.