The Internet of Things is in the process of transforming different areas of our lives. And the Educational sector is on that list. The Internet has already rooted itself in educational processes, and e-learning has become the wide-spread practice in educational systems around the world.
Currently, we are living in the very early ages of the IoT but it has already proven its transformational implication on educational processes and education management and administration.
The implementation of IoT solutions in education will affect how we function, communicate, collaborate, negotiate, conduct business, and make decisions in the nearest future.
Educators are looking for ways to integrate the latest IoT solutions into their classrooms to support effective learning, creativity, and engagement. Wearable technologies in education are changing the way educators interact and present information to their students.
Will it increase the complexity of educational processes? Will we be able to maintain the quality of education? How educational systems will function when IoT wearable technologies will achieve their maturity level.
New ways of interaction with the learning material
The access and communication with the learning material are provided via applications built for wearable devices. There are several of them which help:
- visualize specific places – cities, museums, exhibitions;
- witness historic events and personalities – wars, fights, discoveries;
- go on virtual tours around the world and see places which impossible to reach – mountains, oceans, forests;
- observe complex technological and scientific processes- chemical reactions, nuclear plants, underwater life.
Such virtual reality solutions can enhance students’ understanding, improve their ability to remember the important information, develop curiosity and interest.
Developing new learning methodology- Living the lesson
Wearable devices offer students new learning experiences – living the lesson.
Wearable devices allow students to experience learning in a whole new way – students can live a lesson scenarios, interact with events instead of just reading about. Connectivity between mobile and wearable devices helps people easily communicate and bring prominent industry experts and leading scientists straight into the classrooms.
IoT wearable technology advanced can transform learning and teaching processes in a way which allows students gain the knowledge in an active, self-directed and constructive way. Wearable technology can support students’ creativity and interaction in an easier and a more natural way.
The implementation of IoT wearable technologies in educational sector will require changes in the teaching and learning processes: methodologies, content delivery style, and assessments. Educators should learn how to manage these processes effectively to maximize the benefits of the technology applications.
Samples of IoT wearable devices for education purposes
Technology market offers a variety of wearable devices:
- wearable cameras;
- surveillance devices;
- smart watches;
- healthcare devices;
- activity trackers;
- virtual and mixed reality devices;
- smart accessories.
Some examples of IoT wearable devices are already used in education to develop student skills for lifelong learning, problem solving and teamwork.
iON SnapCam LE 1065 8 MP Full HD 1080p Video Camera (Black)
Price: $79.85 from Amazon
The wearable camera helps students to capture the images of the notes, processes, or additional learning resources. It will provide access to the learning resources when required.
Price: 249.99 from Amazon
Muse can display students’ brain’s activity directly onto a smartphone or tablet. It is also considered as a personal meditation assistant. When students are overwhelmed with exams, tests, presentations, Muse can guide them to a calm mind. Muse can be used to measure brainwaves and can help students’ mind stay focused.
Price: 31.99 from Amazon
Smartwatches provide information and a variety of applications;
- fitness data,
- tools applications for measurements and calculations for students,
- all smartphone functions are implemented into Smartwatches.
From the educational perspective, this technology can enhance learning outcomes and allow students to access educational resources when it is convenient for them.
Samples of educational apps for wearable devices
In many cases, the access to the functionality of IoT wearable devices occurs via special apps developed for the specific device or a group of devices.
Apps cover all age groups and their purpose is to develop communication, cooperation, and problem-solving skills.
- Duolingo from Google Play
The app is developed for students learning foreign languages: Spanish, German, Italian and Swedish. This linguistics app is available for Android Wear.
The app is designed to simplify language studies, and it offers the learners sets of simple tasks displayed in the flashcards.
- Instapaper from iTunes
Instapaper is developed for Apple Watch. Students can assess articles, papers, eBooks and convert them from text to speech by connecting to iPhone. Smartwatch manages access to the documents allowing to play, pause, fast-forward, scrolling and save/archive.
Price: $38.94 from Amazon
LeapBand is a wearable activity tracker. The device allows kids to take part in over 50 activities and challenges and tracks their movements. Kids have an option to nurture their own virtual pet and learn about healthy nutrition.
Price: 199.99 from Amazon
Gesture-based wearables can be used for sign language recognition, interactive virtual tours, control through facial gestures, and supports learning on the move.
The list above contains just a few samples of apps for IoT wearables which can be efficiently used in education. You can see that some apps are free and can be simply downloaded from the respective resource centers, and some of them are quite costly.
Depending on your needs and possible use of apps, you can always find the optimal solution.
IoT wearable devices are making their way into educational sector. The educational institution is integrating these devices into their teaching strategies. Wearable Technology offers students the ability to participate in experiential learning and interact with the content and other lesson participants.
I’d like to mention that wearable technology enhances the accessibility of education for students with disabilities. The add-on value of IoT wearable devices consists in the ability to collect data and provide teachers with the insight how students learn and progress in their studies.
I assume that further development will require the revision of existing teaching and learning methodologies to accommodate new learning experiences.