IoT is Powering Smart Schools

whiteboard

Education technology is no longer an option–it’s a necessity. Students, both K-12 and higher ed, expect technology to be at the center of their educational experience. Whether it’s bringing games into the classroom to increase engagement or enabling Wi-Fi access on school buses so students with long commutes can work on their homework, technology is an integral part of education.

The latest trend in ed tech is Smart Schools. Schools around the country are harnessing IoT to help devices connect and “talk” to each other throughout the school.

However, while the trend is growing in popularity, Smart Schools are still a relatively new concept. According to a recent Extreme Networks survey of more than 600 K-12 and higher ed IT managers, 29 percent of respondents were totally unfamiliar with the concept of a Smart Internet of Things School, while only 12 percent either had implemented a Smart School plan or intended to do so in the next couple of years. The bulk of respondents were either familiar with the topic (36 percent) or were investigating what’s needed for a Smart School plan (29 percent).

However, while many respondents were unfamiliar with a Smart Internet of Things School, 46 percent of IT managers expect a major impact from IoT in the next two years. IT managers also expect the IoT to offer big benefits to instruction and learning outcomes, including increased student engagement, more mobile learning, personalized instruction, improved efficiency, and reduced costs.

While respondents identified clear benefits of IoT, there were also challenges that must be overcome or managed for Smart Schools to take off. Drawbacks ranged from budgetary concerns to difficulties with preserving security and data privacy. Additionally, as schools integrate new IoT technology into their existing technology infrastructure, IT managers are concerned about interoperability between existing devices, as well as different IoT devices. As with any new technology, IT managers also expressed concerns about difficulty managing the new technology.

Extreme Networks also asked the respondents to identify IoT technologies that their schools have already implemented. The top 10 technologies are interactive whiteboards, camera and video capabilities, tablets and eBooks in the classroom, student ID cards, 3-D printers, smart HVAC systems, electric/lighting maintenance, temperature sensors, attendance tracking, and wireless doorlocks.

The top technologies easily match up with the most important factors the IT managers identified as most essential for implementing IoT technology. IT managers identified reliable Wi-Fi, network bandwidth, teacher professional development, appropriate student devices, and network analytics–among others.

Smart Internet of Things Schools may not be mainstream quite yet; however, as the technology becomes more and more affordable and as students demand more constant access, schools will need to implement integrated IoT technology inside and outside of the classroom.

For more on Extreme Networks’ survey, check out its infographic.

Kate DeNardi
About Kate DeNardi
Kate DeNardi is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering education.
3 Comments
  1. Anonymous | - Reply
    IoT revelation will change the way our kids are learning, the way they being evaluated as analytic will become a significant tool. It will change the class room interaction, the classroom maintenance and so much more. Can't wait to see how it will affect our kids way to grow, learn and create.
  2. Anonymous | - Reply
    WI-FI USES THE MOST LETHAL MICROWAVE FREQUENCY Polson, P, DCL Jones, A Karp, and JS Krebs. 1974. Mortality in rats exposed to CW microwave radiation at 0.95, 2.45, 4.54, and 7.44 GHz. Final Technical Report Prepared for U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Contract DAAK02-73-C-0453. 105 pp. Abstract Dose-response (lethality) data have been obtained for rats exposed frontally to CW [continuous wave] microwave radiation in the frequency range 0.9 to 8 GHz. Approximately 1400 male rats of the Sprague-Dawley strain have been exposed in equal groups to four separate frequencies: 0.95, 2.45, 4.54, and 7.44 GHz. Power density levels have ranged from approximately 0.2 W/cm2 to 12 W/cm2[note: US/Canada guidelines are 0.001 W/cm2] and lethal exposure durations from approximately 10 sec to 300 sec. Gross and histological evaluation of selected tissues from some 20 animals has been obtained. The cause of death has been established as congestion, hemorrhage, and obstruction of nasal passages and/or congestion, hemorrhage, and often edema of the lungs. The lethality data have been subjected to a probit analysis, yielding LD50 curves for each of empirically fitted the four frequencies, and the LD50 values have been with a mathematical model. The LD curves very closely approximate the shape of rectangular hyperbolae.
    1. Anonymous | - Reply
      The FCC limit for output at the transmitter for 2.4GHz is 1W/m2. Exposure is reduced following the inverse square law based on distance from the router; 5m from the router, max exposure is 0.04W/m2. The minimum exposure in the cited report was 3420W/m2, and as a continuous wave, which is 85,500 times the exposure that a human receives at 5m. The rats were, essentially, placed in a microwave oven for periods from several seconds to several minutes, and were found to overheat.

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