Preliminary research on how the Internet of Things will impact education may lead you to believe students will soon be connected to an iPad, RFID scanning objects and getting their own personalized curriculum delivered to their desk. It’s a dreamy new world of individually tailored lessons. It might be prudent to remember how computers were supposed to completely alter the way students learn decades ago. Yet anyone who took a “computer 101” class in high school may know tech in the classroom is not the futuristic bonanza we want it to be.
Teaching is not an easy job. Only half of the work involves class time and, depending on where that classroom is located, teachers may have very different objectives. Of course they want students to learn, but a much larger education system and government often dictate the “how.”
Many of the daydreams for IoT in education involve students taking advantage of new technologies to complete cool new projects. Students in science classes might use RFID to tag sample specimens in the wild so they can take notes without leaving the classroom. Textbooks could be scanned to receive instant additional resources and assignments. Despite the fact the IoT is above all else about creativity, these common suggestions do not do it justice. When textbooks came with CDs of additional materials and assignments, who even used them? This is the dead-end of IoT in the classroom. Once the cool factor is gone, it isn’t so revolutionary.CONNECTIVITY MUST BE USED CREATIVELY