12 Apr 2019

IOT: RIDING THE WAVE IN EDUCATION

Today, we are all living digital lives. Whatever device we’re using, we don’t know enough about it except perhaps how it works. When the world moved from an agrarian to an industrial society, public schools were needed to create the industrial society’s workforce. Now that the world as moving into a digital world, we must have a huge change in the way of teaching . Over the past few years, teaching has been aimed at making the students trade well and get jobs.

Education today must unleash students ‘ creativity. Looking at modern-day computing’s vast ocean, we can see that major developments are coming in waves. Today’s computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones that make up the bulk of the Internet of Things (IoT) are joined by smartwatches, smart devices, cars, light bulbs, and a range of other devices that collect and transfer data, often without human involvement. We are moving from the early IoT of smart connections to a new phase, one of invisible integration, as the data is increasing and the technologies are advancing. With IoT, the profiles of students can be built up over the duration of their engagements, thus providing the institution with a better way of assisting them, especially in conjunction with post-academic employment activities.

The IoT’s truly exciting prospect for higher education is that the more data we are able to capture on the various interactions that are continuously taking place, the more we are able to improve virtually every aspect of the institution’s engagement with all involved parties. From the students’ perspective, when considering their options of where to spend their time and resources, this interaction can become a significant factor. Our challenge is to find ways to teach our kids how to navigate, consciously and reflectively, the rapidly moving digital present. How we meet this challenge depends on how we address fundamental issue of teaching our children in the digital age: we need to set goals that require them to see the technology that is largely invisible to them and to assess that technology in terms of their opportunities and responsibilities. Part of our job, therefore, is not only to help students use technology, but also to question it. Imagine how a school district could behave differently with the following objective in place: students will study the personal, social, and environmental impacts of every application of technology and media they use in school. The expansion of the role of technology from a mere tool to an area of study and planning of educational technology dedicated to simply integrating technology into curriculum and instruction. However, if we want our students not only to be skilled users of technology, we should also be good neighbors, informed voters, and citizens involved.

It is precisely our job as educators to help students live an integrated life by inviting them not only to use their technology at school, but also to discuss it in a broader community and society context. If we want to pursue a future that celebrates success not only in terms of abundance, but also in terms of humanity, we need to help our digital children balance the individual empowerment of the use of digital technology with a sense of personal, community and responsibility. School is a great place to help children become capable digital citizens who not only use technology efficiently and creatively, but also responsibly and wisely. That is only if we help them live one life, not two, with the help of technology.

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