How sensors and IoT/IoE can improve learning

From sensors used in health applications to home automation, the sensor industry is growing bit by bit every day. Something that was deemed impossible 20 years ago is becoming possible as we speak. We’ve come a long way and I’m sure this is just the beginning.

With the up and coming Internet of Things (IoT), or Internet of Everything (IoE), companies have begun utilizing sensor technology to connect ‘things’ with one and other. Home automation and smart cities are great examples of those yet imagine if we could implement sensor technology within education. Within our classrooms! Teachers are always looking for ways to connect to their students by creating engaging lesson plans, projects, using different teaching methods etc. So, how can we use technology to get our kids engaged and provide them with a quality education? 

Transforming Education.

Within Education, most often technology is being used in one or two ways. Either, by using smartboards as a glorified projector to present lessons and audio/video materials, or via complete technological immersion at so called iPad schools. These iPad schools have eliminated the use of textbooks, papers and pencils and only use iPads in their lessons. However, even though these iPad schools have upgraded their lesson materials, most often, how they use those materials hasn’t changed. 

The growth of the Internet of Things has been a positive influence on education and how technology is being used is slowly changing. From static applications to interactive classrooms. One example where IoT has been utilized in the form of a teaching aid can be seen in the Sensor Glove. IoT in Special Education is only one example of many possibilities though.

In Australia they have been experimenting with sensor gloves and how they can support children in learning Auslan (Australian Sign Language). The learner wears a sensor glove and signs, the signal is transferred to a computer and then translated into written language, which in turn will provide the learner with feedback on their accuracy in signing. 

For more details, read the Exploring Sensor Gloves for Teaching Children Sign Language research.

The Sensor Glove is only one example out of endless possibilities to implement technology, and specifically, the Internet of Things inside the classroom. IoT could provide our students with high quality and engaging lessons by using smartphones, smart tablets, smart boards and apps. Innovating education is no longer limited to governments, policy makers. In today’s world innovation is open to everyone!

With that said, how do you (or would you) use IoT within your classroom? Leave your comment below.

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