IoT + Education = Transforming Learning While Growing Business

Create: 01/18/2017 - 16:33

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 50.4 million students attended public elementary and secondary schools in the Fall 2016. That's a slight increase from the 50.3 million who attended in Fall 2015.Those are big numbers, and they aren’t decreasing anytime soon—neither is the continued emphasis on the importance of education. And with the brisk clip of investment in educational technologies, IoT is situated in a plum spot for continued expansion within the education sector.  

Nearly 100% of all U.S. public schools have Internet access, and connection speeds are finally catching up with the times thanks to government initiatives dedicated to providing Internet services that can best prepare students for the demands of tomorrow’s jobs. Ensuring U.S. students have the skills they need to get good jobs and compete with other countries depends increasingly upon interactive, personalized learning experiences driven by new technology.

The ConnectED initiative’s goal is to provide 99% of American students with access to next-generation broadband by 2018. (Connectivity that will help transform the classroom experience for all students, regardless of income.) As of June 2015, 20 million more students have been connected to high-speed broadband since ConnectED's launch, already cutting the connectivity divide in half.

With such a strong foundation being laid, it's clear to see how IoT can easily build upon it, and is poised to profoundly transform education as we have known it. IoT holds the key to taking students beyond being tech savvy to enabling them to become technologically creative.

How can schools get started with IoT for education, and how can solution providers help them make their new IoT-enabled curriculum a reality?

Let’s take a look.

How to Build the Curriculum

The first step on the journey from a more traditional lesson plan to one that’s more IoT-powered is to build and adjust curricula so that it effectively guides all students on the pathway to becoming technologically creative. This involves mapping knowledge, skills and understanding, technology application areas, and software and hardware to existing curriculum.

Create New Learning Spaces

To take advantage of the rich learning opportunities that IoT technologies offer, Project Based Learning spaces need to be developed and equipped for a wide range of practical activities. To incubate innovation, these spaces need to be outfitted with technologies ranging from sensors to servers. These will be used for:

  • Simulating IoT scenarios
  • Enabling students to develop creative solutions for real-life problems
  • A spectrum of hardware and software to provide a creative toolkit for learning

Leveraging IoT Building Blocks

The use of electronics, sensors, development boards and embedded computers provides engaging opportunities for students to learn new proficiencies through leveraging IoT building blocks.

Electronics: A good starting point is to get learners to work with basic switches, LEDs and motors on a solderless protoboard. Going ahead, more sophisticated solutions using transistors, capacitors, resistors and microprocessors can be built.

Sensors: A wide range of sensors connect easily with development boards and protoboards, and can be used to measure a full spectrum of physical phenomena such as sound, magnetism, moisture, flow, light, proximity and forces.

Development Boards: Data from sensors processed in a development board can be used to trigger events such as turning on a motor or valve. When combined with other components, complete systems—such as environmental control systems—can be built. Intel® Galileo is a development board designed specifically for education and makers.

Embedded Computers: One example of an embedded computer is the Intel® Edison. Despite its extremely small size, it can run a Linux* operating system and control a full range of devices such as sensors, actuators and motors, over wireless. The Intel® Curie™ module, the size of a button, can power wearable solutions in a broad range of form factors—including rings, bags, bracelets, pendants and fitness trackers.

Why Intel is the Perfect Fit for IoT in Education

Intel provides resellers with a proven holistic model for transforming education. Its systematic approach delivers fresh insights, unique programs and holistic solutions that help deliver student success. The Internet of Things encapsulates exciting new approaches to education and learning opportunities, which Intel embraces through its education programs and technology offerings.

With technology offerings in each layer of the IoT, an integrated IoT platform, and its education transformation expertise, Intel is uniquely positioned to help you enable your education customers to build their own “Internet of Learning Things.” 

About Author

Patricia Schnaidt's picture
Patricia Schnaidt
Patricia Schnaidt is an expert business technology writer. She has held top publishing and editorial positions at InternetWeek, Network Computing, Windows Magazine and LAN Magazine. Schnaidt has written countless articles, lectured extensively, and authored "Enterprise-wide Networking" (Prentice-Hall). She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia College, Columbia University.

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