With the ever-expanding Internet of Things comes the opportunity to improve the education experience. It’s been said that the only limit to the IoT is our imagination. As a student, I’m beginning to see endless possibilities to the smart school.
Here are 3 to start with. They may not be as exciting as rocket-propelled AI robots, but they are definite ways that the IoT can make an impact:
1. Keeping Me Safe
As a student today, safety is a big priority. I remember as a child in elementary school going through the safety procedures of fire drills and lockdowns, never believing that a lockdown would be necessary. In my schooling the only real lock down that occurred was when a hawk flew into my high school, forcing us all into lockdown so that they could catch the bird without interference. Today’s students are not as fortunate as I was; threats to safety are real now more than ever before.
When I started middle school there was a big push around all the new cameras being installed throughout the school. We were told with absolute certainty that if we did something wrong, it would be on camera. The cameras then did not have nearly the advanced capabilities of the cameras that schools are implementing today. Using the Internet of things as a safety resource in schools not only seems like a good option, it seems like the inevitable future. Some cameras are even experimenting with the ability to detect gun shots, immediately alerting the police of the violence.
2. Where Can I Park??
I go to school in a city which makes parking a nightmare. There is nothing worse than cutting it close for class and realizing there is no parking anywhere. Having to park a mile away means there’s no way I’ll be on time: making me officially late and stressed. I realize an easy answer is to get to school early, but that just doesn’t always happen. An alternative solution would be smart parking. Sensors that connect to your phone saying ‘yes there is an open spot for you or no, don’t waste your time and just go to a different parking lot.’ This would save me time and gas so please, let’s work toward this ASAP.
3. Saving Me Time and Money
As a college student there is nothing more annoying than a teacher taking attendance every class. I understand the need to associate a face with the name on the assignment that is coming in, but taking attendance EACH class is a major waste of time. While it maybe takes a maximum of five minutes to complete, it’s super annoying.
We could be starting the lecture by now, but instead the professor is calling out each name on their roster. While I know it seems like a trivial aspect to scrutinize, it’s excruciatingly boring. If there were automatic attendance tracking, there would be no real need for that.
However, it’s not just time that can be saved by implementing IoT. School systems can save money through lighting and HVAC systems, which is awesome as that could trickle down into savings for everyone. These savings could either be passed directly to the college student or could result in lower taxes for towns. These benefits go beyond financial, and also help the environment.
I remember in 8th grade taking an aptitude test to see what career I was destined for. Afterwards my math teacher mused that the majority of our future jobs probably were not even on the list of options because they had yet to be created. That is what is so special about my generation – we have already seen so much change in the world and have grown so accustomed to frequent advancements. We know that tomorrow will not look like today and we have hope that it might be better, despite our reputation of being cynical.
What’s amazing to me is imagining the way our future generations of students will be learning. Even though I am only in college, the K-12 students of today are experiencing learning in a totally different way than I did a few years ago. From year to year the experience changes drastically. My university’s “library” was recently renovated and now is primarily a collaboration space with a room in the back corner full of book stacks.
The experiences of today’s students are vastly different from the experiences of tomorrow’s students, and that, to me, is what is so extraordinary.