How IoT in education is changing the way we learn

Article written by Andrew Meola from businessinsider.com.

The Internet of Things, the connection of devices (other than standard products such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet, is in the process of transforming numerous areas of our everyday lives. And while it might not seem like an obvious application of the IoT, education is on that list.
The Internet has deeply rooted itself into our schools, and e-learning has become common practice in the American school system. But the applications of the IoT in education are numerous, and the implications for this disruption are tremendous.
The rise of mobile technology and the IoT allows schools to improve the safety of their campuses, keep track of key resources, and enhance access to information. Teachers can even use this technology to create "smart lesson plans," rather than the traditional stoic plans of yesteryear.
Below, we've compiled a list of IoT education examples, including the uses of the IoT in higher education, the future of the Internet in education, and examples of companies that are using the IoT to enter the education space.


IoT in Higher Education

The IoT can begin disrupting the education process as early as kindergarten and can continue to do so through 12th grade, but perhaps the most profound effects occur in higher education.
Students, particularly in college, are increasingly moving away from paper books toward tablets and laptops. With all of the necessary information at their fingertips, students can now learn at their own pace and have a nearly identical educational experience in their homes and in the classroom.
And while this trend provides increased convenience for students, it also makes the teaching process more efficient for professors. The surge in connected technology means that instructors do not need to manually grade tests on paper or perform other routine tasks.
Instead, professors can focus on the actual, personal instruction that is most valuable to their students. Devices connected to the cloud allow professors to gather data on their students and then determine which ones need the most individual attention and care. These statistics also let teachers properly adjust their lesson plans for future classes.
Third grade students study on computers using online learning in the lab at Rocketship SI Se Puede, a charter, public elementary school, on February 18, 2014 in San Jose, California.
Outside of the classroom, universities can use connected devices to monitor their students, staff, and resources and equipment at a reduced operating cost, which saves everyone money. And these tracking capabilities should also lead to safer campuses. For example, students would be able to keep track of connected buses and adjust their schedules accordingly, which would prevent them from spending unnecessary time in potentially dangerous areas.

Future of the Internet in Education

As of 2015, 73% of all U.S. teenagers had access to a smartphone, according to Capterra. Nearly 100% of all U.S. public schools have Internet access. And 70% of middle school students and 75% of high school students use laptops for educational purposes.
With that foundation upon which to build, it's easy to see how the Internet of Things is poised to radically transform education as we know it. Capterra points out that 69% of students want to use their mobile devices more frequently in the classroom, and most of those students want to use them to automate tasks that they already do now, such as note-taking, schedule checking, and research.
As for the schools, the greatest benefits would be increased energy efficiency and reduced operating costs. New Richmond schools in Tipp City, Ohio are saving approximately $128,000 each year by using a web-based system that controls all mechanical equipment inside the buildings.
Furthermore, Greentech Media points out that investment in these "smart schools" usually pays off within two years. And this tech can even be installed into older buildings by attaching smart sensors and other devices to existing control panels.
And the savings continue as schools invest in reusable resources, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Capterra notes that an average school spends an average of $30,000 to $50,000 per year just on paper, but reusable tech would completely eliminate that cost.
As more schools adopt this technology, expect to see more "smart schools" pop up throughout the U.S. until they are the standard for American education.


Examples of Companies in the IoT for Education Space

The foremost example of a tech company that has invaded schools is SMART, which pioneered the world's first interactive whiteboard in 1991. SMART boards changed the way teachers and students interacted in the classroom by moving lessons away from the dusty chalkboards that dominated education for decades.
But SMART is far from the only company sinking its hooks into the U.S. school system. IPEVO has also manufactured a wireless interactive whiteboard that serves as an alternative to the SMART board, notes the Huffington Post.
Ideapaint, which creates dry-erase whiteboard paint, dove headlong into the IoT by developing an app called Bounce with the goal of bringing more of the educational experience online.
And IBM has announced that it would invest $3 billion into the IoT over the next few years, and a significant portion of that money will go toward education.


More to Learn

Approximately 50.4 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools as of Fall 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That's a slight increase from the 50.3 million who attended in Fall 2015.
With figures like those, it's clear that the education system isn't going away anytime soon. And with that emphasis on the importance of education, it's equally important for the Internet of Things to improve the quality of that education.
But education is far from the only area of our lives that the IoT will transform. Transportation, energy, homes, healthcare, and more will all feel the touch of the IoT in the coming years.
That's why BI Intelligence has spent months creating the most exhaustive resource on not just education, but the entire IoT: The Internet of Things: Examining How The IoT Will Affect The World.
To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT universe, choose one of these options:
  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT
The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of the IoT.


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Back to School with Microsoft:

Student focused, teacher inspired innovation with Office 365 Education


By Tony Prophet as written on blogs.microsoft.com
Microsoft is “All In” for Education. Today, we’re highlighting some exciting new features of Office 365 Education for the upcoming school year – Microsoft Classroom, School Data Sync, Microsoft Forms, OneNote ink and Learning Tools. And remember, Office 365 Education is free for students and teachers.

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Microsoft Classroom is your workflow wizard

Every minute an educator spends on administrative tasks is a minute they aren’t able to spend time with their students. Microsoft Classroom is designed to be a single experience in Office 365 Education for managing all class and assignment workflows for teachers and students.
With Microsoft Classroom, teachers can use the Office documents and class materials they already have –  or create new ones using familiar Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as exciting new applications OneNote Class Notebook and Sway. With this one-stop destination, educators get back precious instructional time so they can focus on what they’re truly passionate about – transforming the lives of students.

Easily set up your class with School Data Sync

School IT administrators have similar challenges. Keeping up with their connected campuses often takes time away from more strategic work. School Data Sync helps IT administrators connect existing school systems to Office 365 – enabling single sign on for teachers and students while automating Microsoft Classroom set up.
IT administrators can get started with Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync with Office 365 Education by going here.

Microsoft Forms are anything but formulaic

Developing assessments like quizzes and surveys takes time, and often involves a trip to the copy machine. With Microsoft Forms, now generally available worldwide in Office 365 Education, teachers and students can create custom surveys, quizzes, questionnaires, registrations and more. As educators move to more personalized teaching, Microsoft Forms is a powerful way for teachers to customize their lessons, leveraging individualized instruction and responses, question branching, and image support.


Laura Stanner, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, is already using the new features in her classroom. Read more about how these new tools are helping her here.

OneNote ink unleashes your inner Picasso or Pythagoras

Most technology in the classroom relies on keyboard inputs, but research has shown that digital ink can increase the quality of instruction, save teachers time and improve scores among students solving science or math problems. OneNote has supported digital ink (or handwriting with stylus, finger or mouse) for over 10 years on Windows PC. It’s also available on Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
Today, we are announcing that OneNote ink now includes new features exclusive to Windows 10, like ink effects and ink math assistant, that not only support student creativity by letting students shade, sketch, draft, save and share ideas with their favorite rainbow colors (a student’s request), it recognizes math equations.
InktoMath_Commercial (1)
This sets the stage for a revolution in math instruction, allowing students to show their thought process, and teachers to identify gaps in understanding. Check out the new ink page at OneNote.com/ink and learn more about the power of digital ink in this new era of computers, straight from students.

Learning Tools support readers and writers of all levels

Educators strive to support learners at all levels, and classrooms are often comprised of students with a wide range of capabilities. Learning Tools for OneNote, now available in many new languages, helps everyone improve their reading and writing skills, including gifted learners, students with learning differences or a combination of any of the broad range of unique student abilities.
We have seen overwhelmingly positive reactions from students, teachers and others from around the world. Many have shared stories of their students’ successes, such as dramatically increased reading speeds like those in Special Education teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Lauren Pittman’s classroom.

Explore Skype Virtual Adventures – this year with hundreds of new guest speakers and field trips

The Skype in the Classroom community is free. Teachers and students can reach out to connect with more than a thousand amazing destinations – people and places all over the world.  A simple Skype call connects students to collaborate with experts and each other through a live conversation from their classroom.  Just a few of our new virtual adventures include Antarctic Penguins, Central American Baby Sloths, and the Intrepid Space Shuttle.
Skype Sloth

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Find out more on how Managed Solution and Microsoft help Educators with the tools they need to succeed.


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