Whilst the internet continues to drive the advancement of technology in almost every sector, there are few fields that have seen such a profound transformation as that of education. Our day-to-day technology has become a cornerstone of our education system, creating opportunities for research, distance learning and communication in institutions around the world. Whether it’s information access whilst on the move, resource management in libraries or campus security, it’s the Internet of Things (IoT) that is fundamentally changing the way we learn.
From the first days at nursery to their time in a cap and gown, the most profound impact on a student’s education will come when studying at a higher level. Say goodbye to textbooks and papers; those studying today are looking to the digital frontier for their information. Many institutions now provide access to an archive of learning materials including recorded lectures, seminar notes, workshop videos and more. This greatly expands an institution’s remote learning capabilities, giving students the freedom that many of them not only prefer but require. Teachers can further utilise big data to offer a more direct and more personalised approach, whether that be in the classroom or online.
When considering the student experience, there are already applications and devices that are tailored around educational support such as digital dictaphones that can transcribe lecture notes, collaborative software that can help people work together better and automated scheduling tools for classrooms. We could soon see a time when such applications become the standard, but where could IoT take education next? Virtual Reality classrooms? Avatar-based teachers? Libraries powered by Artificial Intelligence?
Whilst not all institutions have the modern infrastructure to support such technologies, IoT can support our educational framework in other ways. From sensors monitoring utilities to smart access control; IoT can help make schools more cost effective, more environmentally friendly and more secure, especially with many campuses incorporating both aged buildings with established histories and new builds with predefined architecture.
Schools, colleges and universities all have goals and will adopt technology at different paces and in different ways. Standardization might be key to widespread change but technology can help raise standards of education, both across the board and across the country.