How Internet of Things is Changing the Landscape of Indian Institutes?

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  • The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines etc. that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and have the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human intervention.
  • As per the New National Digital Communications Policy 2018, “India envisions an estimated 5 billion IoT connections by 2022, and a USD $1 trillion digital economy by 2025”.
  • According to a study by Deloitte, the current number of IoT devices in India is around 60 million and the number is going to increase to 1.9 billion units by 2020.
  • Digital India is already expanding the country’s digital footprint at quick pace. With over a billion mobile phones and half a billion internet users, India’s mobile data consumption is already the highest in the world.
  • Over 200 million Indians regularly use social media and in the last year alone, over 200 million Indians took to mobile banking and digital payments.

Source: National Digital Policy 2018

How IoT Is Transforming the Education Sector and Implications of Its Use in Education

Education sector has already been disrupted through the internet with the advent of online learning management systems simulating traditional classrooms environments.

IoT aims to take this a step farther. It aims to integrate machines and objects into one integrated system of learning. The rapid proliferation and convergence of mobile phones, the internet and social media platforms has led to the growth of a digital economy.

The IoT has the potential to cause major disruption in a variety of fields. It has already started making a noticeable impact in areas such as customer service and healthcare. The Internet of Things is likely to bring significant changes to the education sector too.

However, despite the rapid expansion of IoT devices, most educational institutions are yet to reach out using this technology. Adoption of technology in such institutes should be at a massive scale to harness its full potential. The Internet of Things is needed in institutes to fully engage students beyond the classroom for long term learning.

Education technologies is driving the sector to a greater level of transformation today. Colleges and Universities have started moving ahead with virtual learning tools with the help of the Internet of Things. Here are a few global and Indian trends and practices of usage of IOT in institutes and universities:

Transcending Geographical Boundaries and Time Space – Access Education Anytime from Anywhere

Smart boards and mobile apps are the latest devices related to the IoT in the field of education. These smart boards are very helpful in making the whole teaching learning experience interesting. Mobile apps are another great way to access education from anywhere at any time.  Therefore, by using these devices, students sitting at their home or anywhere else can interact with educators, mentors and peers across the world.

Facilitating Data Management in Educational Institutes

Cloud-based applications are further helping education sector revamp their data management systems effectively. Through cloud computing systems, students gain real-time access to valuable information related to their course curriculum which they would otherwise could access through textbooks only.

This helps to provide a richer learning experience. It also helps to facilitate self learning by reducing too much dependency on textbooks and traditional classroom learning.

QR Codes

QR codes are another tool which enables students to gain knowledge resources through their smartphones by scanning QR codes. They can be very engaging to gain feedback of students.

Enhancing Safety and Security of Students

Smart cards are helping academic institutions to track students’, faculty, staff’s and visitors’ movement. These cards also enable attendance system of students. Through smart cards the security is in a better position to ensure safety and security of students and others.

Similarly, tracking of college shuttle bus is enabled using GPS so that students have a safe journey to and back from school and parents are aware of the children’s whereabouts. IN most schools these days, cameras are put in place for 24/7 surveillance. Parents can access these cameras online though desktop or mobile phones and keep a watch on their child’s whereabouts.

Increasing Institutional Efficiency

By using IoT devices, institutes are streamlining their daily operations by curtailing extra resources, time and effort. So, after implementing IoT, colleges and universities are actually able to streamline most of their teaching assignments and students’ assessment modules.

IoT connected devices are aiding colleges and universities to automate attendance of students, record keeping etc. among other time consuming activities. Thus, the Internet of Things is transforming the education sector and making the whole learning experience simpler, faster and safer.

 

What are the Opportunities Educational Institutes Can Look into Using Internet of Things (IoT) and What are Some of the Challenges in Implementing IoT?

There are plenty of challenges and gaps in the education sector that IoT aims to provide solution to. First and foremost, educational enterprises face challenges to manage students data. But with the help of cloud based applications, archiving of data can be done in a safe and secure environment. Secondly, fee collection system can be automated using IoT applications.

Building on the idea of Big Data collection, with IoT each student can be evaluated and monitored on an individual basis. Customized assessment system can be developed to provide need based evaluation framework for students.

IoT also has the potential to not only save time and physical resources, but also human resources all the while maintaining a better standard of teaching. Data privacy can be effectively ensured with IoT devices and applications. However, there remains some grave challenges in implementing IoT in academic institutions.

IoT infrastructure is expensive. While financially strong educational institutions would be able to easily absorb the infrastructure set up cost but the schools and colleges lacking adequate financial support would find it really difficult to go ahead. As a result, it can create inequality among education services provider.

In order to make IoT equitable in education, it will have to be economically viable enough for a majority of the institutions to be able to implement it. Government and big private players should also come forward in supporting institutions embrace technology by providing financial backing.

 

Conclusion

The Internet of Things (IoT), is the new normal that is fast spreading around the world. It is actually helping create a unipolar learning environment which is accessible from anywhere at any time.

Today things have started changing slowly in educator sector. Various educational institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary levels are now realizing the significance of introducing technology, especially IoT, into their daily teaching methods. With rising support of the government and backing of corporate players, very soon, many schools and colleges will have IoT embedded into their day-to-day activities.

The Internet of Things is no doubt going to be the further of the education system in the country. Most of the schools and colleges in times to come will use it to prepare their students to become future ready. While other institutions may be seen using it to harness data, save money, and for other specific needs.

But in the end, if our academic institutions want to benefit from technological advancements such as internet of things (IoT), then our understanding of emerging education needs of modern learners must shift from old patterns to new environments. If we want to integrate IoT into the education the our colleges and schools need to create administrative systems with a proactive approach that can benefit all stakeholders most importantly future of tomorrow i.e. the student community.

In this blog post, we have discussed the significance of IoT and hope that you would have gained valuable insights on why this technology is becoming an integral element to redefine success of your institution.

If you wish to share some of the experiences of implementing IoT in your institute and how this technology has helped you create a niche for yourself, feel free to write back to us in the comment section here. We will highlight this experience of yours through our portal and facilitate peer learning among academic institutions on benefits of using technology. Till then, keep watching this space for more interesting blog content on important emerging topics that will help your institute gain insights to achieve its objectives in a digitalized world.

 

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