In the upcoming years, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to bring a higher demand for a skilled workforce. In order to produce such a successful skilled workforce in tune with current and future projected demands, colleges and universities need to offer a smart and sustainable education based on quality and equity. It is fair to say that conventional ways of delivering higher education will not fulfill the demands. However, with the help of smart technologies institutions can make the shift.
Disruptive and smart technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and others, have the capability to revolutionize the current conventional educational system, according to a recent peer-reviewed study conducted by University of Jyväskylä researchers. The study provides an overview of the application of IoT for education.
A smart university is:
A smart college or university is defined as a technology-driven physical or virtual learning environment which is equipped with modern technologies, devices, tools, and applications for interactive learning, student engagement, collaboration, teaching, and management. A smart institution focuses on nurturing 21st century skills in learners by developing creativity and creative thinking while fostering technology-driven, personalized learning resulting in advanced learning experiences. This kind of education embraces life-long learning.
IoT in smart education:
According to the researchers, the Internet of Things (IoT) plays a paramount role in enhancing the quality of the learning experience and the performance of learners as well as supporting faculty’s daily work and distance learning provisions. In other words, the IoT has the potential to provide sustainable quality education while providing solutions for the everyday challenges faced by education providers and education managers.
The term Internet of Things was first introduced in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer and co-founder of the Auto-ID Labs Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Internet of Things gathers information in the form of data and then transmits it to other devices, which are all connected to the Internet, creating a network of connected devices.
Wireless communication and Artificial Intelligence (AI) -- among other advanced technologies -- are key enabling technologies for the Internet of Things. When these advanced technologies are combined, they can deliver IoT services. IoT can be applied in educational context from school management, faculty, and learner’s perspectives:
IoT for smart school management:
- Energy management
- On-campus security
- Student monitoring system
- Management of students requiring extra support
- Smart transport
- Student health monitoring system
IoT for teachers:
- Autonomous attendance system
- Advanced pedagogies
- Assessment, evaluation, and feedback systems
- IoT-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education
IoT for students:
- Distance learning
- Enhanced productivity and interaction
- Customized learning environments
- School and home management
As digital transformation advanced in higher education and it embraces Education 4.0, providing a sustainable, high-quality education is the ultimate goal. IoT enables the smart school concept, and opens doors for the implementation of key smart school features focusing on school management, teachers, and students, as summarized above.