Education and the Internet of Things

The fact that the internet has brought great opportunities to Education is something that nowadays no longer needs mentioning. The digital revolution that gained force in the decade of 2000 also brought forth a series of educational innovations such as distance learning, including more recent tendencies such as blended learning and microlearning.

By definition, however, technological innovation never stops. If we consider changes that will come in the near future regarding the internet, and which will have great impact on Education, we cannot forget the Internet of Things (IoT). Michael Porter, from Harvard Business School, states that this trend represents “the most substantial change in the manufacturing firm since the Second Industrial Revolution.”

To better understand this concept, reviewing the internet´s history might prove useful. Let´s go!

The internet’s stages

Web 1.0, which originated in 1996, brought published content to PC users. Around 2005, Web 2.0 brought the concept of social media, and users also became producers of content through blogs. By 2014, talk of the Web 3.0 began, introducing ubiquity: several machines (smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc.) that connected and processed data. We currently see a new change – Web 4.0 – which has decisive participation: a) Artificial Intelligence; b) an enormous volume of updated information; and c) the integration of other machines beyond digital devices.

The Internet of Thing is named as such because electronic products, or “things,” will be able to access the web, collect and process information intelligently. While we currently interact using laptops and smartphones, Web 4.0 will allow us to experience smart cars, clothing that have health sensors, virtual tutors that interact with students, homes (or schools) that have sensors that read people´s behaviors while inside, robots that help care for the elderly, etc.

What´s next

On Web 4.0, IoT becomes reality by connecting electronic and digital products on a network where even its source of energy is designed to be smart and sustainable.

The Brazilian Government has already shown interest, releasing the National Study of the Internet of Things in June, 2019. This plan involves the creation of an administrative council (involving Education, Health, Technology, Agribusiness, etc.), to promote IoT-related innovation in Brazil.

The Internet of things and Changes in Education

When speaking of IoT in education, the Internet of Things Week manifesto of 2017 informed us that one of the fundamental premises for IoT to succeed is to “identify and support the growing trend of using IoT technologies in education.”

The official Brazilian development bank (BNDS) report highlights IoT applications for Brazil promptly for basic industry (factories and agribusiness) and Health. Following technical areas directly involved with the creation of IoT, education for health professionals will be the first area to be impacted by the IoT. According to the BNDS, this requires “that education departments recognize computer science for Health as an area of study” (pg.33).

Considering the medium and long term, the IoT also demands awakening interest in technological innovation in youth by “supporting and promoting actions to expand the endorsement of programming, robotics and the use of sensors in private and public high-schools” (pg.31).

Immersive Learning

The IoT will transform schools into great laboratories that will allow students to interact and design a great variety of interactions. Education will become more hands-on and focused on projects, demanding creativity collaboration and communication. And, given the ubiquitous nature of Web 4.0, education will, definitely, no longer be restricted by the physical limits of schools.

Microsoft has been popularizing the term “Immersive Learning” to define the Web 4.0 experience in education. The term alludes to the empirical character of students immersed in learning. Today, Immersive Learning initiatives already exist, such as Virtual Reality for education; Augmented Reality in schools; interactive tables; Mixed Reality making environments smart; educational games and gamified teaching, etc.

In a few years, this change will result in everyday actions such as virtual tutors that will effectively have a conversation with students; electronic stations that will respond to teachers´commands, displaying content or giving tests; and robots designed by children and teenagers.

My Invitation

IoT is not yet a reality in Brazilian homes; but, talk to our experts to learn about what Dot digital group has to offer in Immersive Learning and to discover how Web 4.0 will transform Education.

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