Using the internet of things in education
What is the internet of things?
You know how your iPhone connects to your speakers, or your TV? That's the internet of things - or IoT. It's all about devices connecting to the internet so they can talk to each other, other applications, and us. The idea has been around for decades, but over the past couple of years, IoT has really taken off, and we seem to be overrun with devices chatting away in the background.
Take the smart fridge. With a smart fridge, you can see how much milk you've got left, check its expiry date, and add it to your shopping list if you need more. Smart fridges can even text you recipe ideas according to its contents – which is pretty cool.
But other than being handy at home, what's the point?
The world of IoT is endless, it just depends how creative you want to be.
IoT stretches far beyond the four walls of your home – we're talking city-wide, nationwide, or even worldwide. Think about smart bins that signal when they need to be emptied, CCTV surveillance that shares facial recognition data, or GoogleMaps gathering real-time traffic data from millions of users across the globe – just so we know the quickest route home. Even cooler, right?
We know IoT is clever, but is it safe?
IoT gathers a lot of data about us – our eating habits, daily routines, music tastes. And while it may seem excessive or intrusive, IoT is actually relatively safe. In fact, your smart fridge or map app poses no greater threat than using your PC.
And the benefits far outweigh the positives.
The examples are endless. In industry, warehouses use scanners to check shelves, order products and organise stock – helping to increase efficiency. In healthcare, IoT is literally life-saving. Smart bands can track how much Parkinson's patients shake, collecting vital data that is monitored and analysed to create brand-new treatments.
How has IoT changed education?
The IoT has already started changing how our education system works. Students are moving away from paper and books towards laptops and tablets, which is having a huge effect on how we teach and learn. With an integrated eportfolio and VLE, students have all the tools they need at their fingertips, so they can learn at their own pace in their own environment.
As learners' devices are connected, tutors can gather data on student progress. This helps them determine who needs more support, and they can adjust their teaching appropriately.
What about apprenticeships?
The IoT and apprenticeships go hand-in-hand. Apprentices spend time learning in the workplace, at college or uni, and in remote locations – so cloud-based technology gives them flexible access to their portfolio, resources and tutors. And today's apprentices are natural tech users - so their engagement skyrockets when they can incorporate this into their learning.
Our learning software takes a lot of inspiration from the internet of things. It's a multi-functional, cross-platform system that talks to itself and you. It's very clever really.
OneFile's eportfolio, VLE and CPD features are fully integrated, so they share data and can be accessed as one unified system. This makes the whole learning experience smooth and succinct. You can map content in OneFile's VLE against learning aims in the eportfolio – and sync progress from your CPD tracker across the platform. And with the OneFile offline app, you can do all this on the go – any time, any where, on any device.
All of OneFile's features work together as part of a team – just like the internet of things.