The Internet of Things (IoT) in Education: Transformational Reality
The Internet was not created as an educational tool. However, the Internet has become one of the most important transformational technology-enhanced teaching and learning tools ever developed. Moreover, the evolution of the basic Internet platform into what is called The Internet of Things is dramatically changing the way we create and deliver content to a wide diversity of learners on a global scale. IoT is truly the next phase of the human-machine interface.
So, what is IoT? In the educational world, IoT is an ever-expanding interrelationship between people, mobile devices, data, practice, policy (cybersecurity, etc.), finance, and advocacy of technology-enhanced education. Based upon evolving principles of digital content curation, content delivery, and evaluation/validation of skills, knowledge, and critical outcomes, IoT has enabled the fact that technologies no longer moves from the campus to the home, but rather from the home to the campus. The information located on this Issue Page will speak to the reality in higher education whereby, our students come to us in Internet-enabled vehicles (or over high speed networks), wearing multiple Internet-enabled devices (sensors), carrying multiple Internet-enabled devices (ranging from smartphones to Internet-enabled light bulbs), and have the expectation that our institutions will be ready to handle their personal and academic needs.
The transformational evolution of IoT in education will continue into the foreseeable future. As we move to rely upon the endless capabilities of artificial intelligence and virtual reality in our lives, the current dependence upon screens will disappear in favor of more intuitive voice-activated systems that will define our interaction with the IoT tools that will define our success in teaching and learning.
IoT truly is the umbrella term that will empower higher education in the next iteration of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.