The Internet of Things: the Future of Education  

Introduction

The internet has almost complete control over everything in today’s world. Over the last few years, the internet has connected billions of devices with new ones being connected each and every day (Khan, Khan, Zaheer, & Khan, 2012). Upwards of 2 billion people use the internet for everyday tasks and communication (Miorandi, Sicari, De Pellegrini, & Chlamtac, 2012). As the internet expands new ideas come from it. An idea that will be analyzed in this paper is the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things is a network of interconnected everyday objects that are equipped with ubiquitous intelligence (Xia, Yang, Wang, & Vinel, 2012). As society becomes more developed with the rise of technology, the internet of things is becoming more integrated into our world. Many common things such as refrigerators and home appliances are being connected through the internet of things and becoming interconnected. A very important aspect of the internet of things is how it can be incorporated into the school system and how it can affect education.

Studies show that the IoT, when incorporated into education “will provide a more appealing, flexible, engaging, and quantifiable system of education that fulfills the different needs of a vast number of students. (Gul, Asif, Ahmad, Yasir, Majid, & Malik, 2017). The IoT connects everything through sensors, QR codes, and real time positioning to operate. (Nie, 2013). The stimulus article “Extra Sensory Perception” explains the uses of these sensors and how they can be implemented into everyday objects and even into whole buildings through the IoT (Dublon, & Paradiso, 2014). The information gathered by these sensors all come together for improved management of buildings, campuses, and possibly even cities. The IoT has not been implemented into society enough for longitudinal studies pertaining its effectiveness to be done. The perception that students and their teachers have on these up and coming technologies have not yet been collected.

The perception that the students have on the IoT and how it is implemented into education is extremely important because the incorporation of smart technology in the classroom is mainly for the purpose of improving the educational system and the satisfaction of students and teachers. The stimulus article “Through the Looking Glass” analyzes perception. The excerpt from this novel focuses on the mind of a little girl and her perception of the things going on around her. The Internet of Things should improve students perception of school and the educational system as a whole. The IoT will improve the educational system and society as a whole. The IoT aims to make the internet even more immersive and effective to support this improvement of society (Zanella, Bui, Castellani, Vangelista, & Zorzi, 2014).

Literature Review

The Internet of Things is composed of several interconnected devices which gather information by the means of sensor and data collection technology that collect data and transmit it to other recessing devices for “interpretation and decision making” (Gul, et. al, p.159). The expected growth of IoT connections is expected to grow to around 27 billion devices in 2025 (Gul, et. al, p.159). The IoT has a significant economic impact on society as well. The whole annual economic impact of the Internet of Things is projected to be around 2.7-6.2 trillion dollars per year by 2025 (Al-Fuqaha, Guizani, Mohammadi, & Ayyash, 2015). The IoT has many impacts on society but the impact it has on education is very important. The IoT can improve the educational systems through the development of smart environments and smart campuses. A smart environment is one that can gather information about the environment around it to improve itself and improve the experience in that environment (Gul, et. al, p.161).

Application of IoT in Education

The “Smart Campus” and “Smart Classroom” are both future developments of the IoT that will improve the quality of education and reduce the amount of time wasted in the classroom. Studies show that average American students spend 1025 hours in a classroom per year. More than 308 of the 1025 hours are spent on wasteful tasks such as the distribution of materials, classroom antics, and time spent taking attendance. According to Gul, 1 out of every 5 minutes in the classroom is wasted on jobs that become more efficient with the IoT. With the reduction of time wasted, the implementation of the IoT into classrooms can increase the amount of time that is used to track students progression and their grasping of course materials. (Gul, et. al, p.163-164).

The Smart Campus

The Smart Campus is composed of multiple “smart things” in a single campus to improve the quality of education and the lives of students and teachers. The Smart Campus can be composed of many things that can improve the educational system such as smart IoT based classrooms, smart e-learning applications, and IoT sensors for in class procedures. The Smart Campus also includes things outside of education such as smart parking, smart inventory, smart tracking and management of students, and smart lighting. (Gul, et. al, p. 161). Within the Smart Campus is the Smart Classroom. The Smart Classroom helps to “provide a better learning and teaching environment” and aims to be more efficient, more effective, and less time consuming. (Gul, et. al, p.162). Smart Classroom management is one of the key components as to why the Smart Classroom is so effective. The use of Smart Classroom Management changes the approach a teacher uses to manage their classrooms.

Smart devices within the Smart Classroom make it possible for teachers to analyze the effectiveness of their teaching. Through the use of sensors and IoT technology, the level of concentration and interest level of students can be monitored. With this the teacher would be able to change their teaching style to engage the students more. The teacher can see if he/she needs to speak louder or just be more interesting in order grasp the students attention (Gul, et. al, p.162). One very interesting use of the IoT in schooling is a device used to teach the English language. This interactive device uses voice and visual sensors to correct the shape of the English learners mouths when pronouncing words.

This device can significantly improve literacy rates and can make learning English significantly easier (Gul, et. al, p.160). Other commonly used IoT devices in the smart classroom include interactive whiteboards, tablets and mobile devices, 3D printers, Ebooks, Student identification cards, Temperature sensors, security cameras and video, wireless door locks, and attendance tracking systems (Gul, et. al, p.162).

In the Smart Campus, students would have Identification cards equipped with RFID tags that can be automatically scanned when they are on Campus. Smart classroom attendance systems take advantage of this to make attendance extremely easy for teachers. When a students walks into the classroom their ID code is automatically scanned and marked in the attendance system. Other Smart Management applications in energy consumption and teaching management are also important to the Smart Campus model. Lighting and parking are two developments that can improve the quality of the Smart Campus. Intelligent Lights would be able to turn off when nobody is around to save energy.

Smart parking would make the parking experience of students and teachers much easier by having parking spaces planned out and being able to guide cars into specific parking spaces for efficient arrival and departure to the campus. (Nie, p.1577). The smart Campus can improve school security and prevent emergencies. Wireless identifiable devices can be used to improve safety in schools. Environmental surveillance can detect any imminent danger around the Smart Campus such as natural disasters and pollution. Personnel surveillance can detect the safety of building equipment, theft, and identity security. Building monitoring systems can detect water leaks, gas leaks, fire, vandalism, and even unauthorized entrance into the Smart Campus. The detection of unauthorized entrances can increase the safety of the school and prevent attacks and school shootings (Sundmaeker, Guilleman,Friess, & Woelffl©, 2010).

Challenges of the IoT in Education

Although Smart Campus’ and Smart Classrooms can improve the educational system, there are some negative implications to the incorporation of the IoT into the school system. Some challenges include network issues, security, privacy, management, cost of equipment, standardization, reliability, trust, and availability (Al-Fuqaha, et. al, p.2362). The challenges can all be decreased over time but since the IoT has not yet been fully incorporated into the educational system, the challenges are still very real and dangerous. Security and Privacy is a very important issue because the IoT stores all of its information onto one cloud of connected devices. If a security breach were to occur, confidential files pertaining medical records and private information about students and faculty could be in jeopardy. Breaches of sensors can also intrude on the privacy of students and faculty within the building. If not secured, the whole system of connected devices could endanger the people that are monitored in that system.(Gul, et. al, p.163).

The cost of equipment can also prevent many schools from implementing the IoT and Smart Classrooms in their schools. (Gul, et. al, p.163)The smart Campus requires multiple costly devices that without the proper funding, many schools cannot afford. Management of the IoT devices into the school system can also be a challenged. Without the right management, the IT equipment and teaching staff would not be able to support the use of the IoT on their campus (Gul, et. al, p.163). The standardization of the IoT is also a significant challenge because the implementation of the IoT into schools worldwide would be extremely difficult. The lack of trust that many people have with the internet is one of the main reasons why it would be so difficult (Khan, et. al, p.260). Over time, these challenges will be resolved and the IoT will be implemented into the educational system. The IoT is so new that, society is fighting these challenges as the IoT becomes more common in society and people become more reliant on its presence for everyday tasks.

Discussion

The research for the IoT in education specifically is mainly focused on future applications and how they could be implemented into the school system. Since the IoT is very new, the research that has been done is mostly about the future. When the IoT becomes more common and is used in more areas, the research would be more about the advantages and disadvantages of the IoT and how it has changed education. As of 2018 there is very little actual incorporation of the IoT into the educational system which is the reason as to why the main body of research on the topic is future developments not based on actual data and trials.

Gaps and Limitations

The main limitation on the research of the topic of the Internet of Things in Education is that there is very little usage of the IoT in schools today. There have been no longitudinal studies of the effects that the IoT has on education, therefore one cannot predict if it will be completely positive or completely negative. In 10 years the IoT will be incorporated more into the school system  

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The Internet of Things: The Future of Education  . (2021, Mar 22). Retrieved December 7, 2021 , from
https://studydriver.com/the-internet-of-things-future-of-education/

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