School of today, there are over 5 billion sensors, and devices already connected to the Internet globally. Although, this number should increase to rising to 75 billion by 2020. These devices and sensors, otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT) are predicted to generate up to 20 zettabytes of data by the year 2025.

With this wide connectivity, there has been mushrooming of smart hospitals, smart cities, smart homes, and smart schools. A critical element of smart schools and smart classrooms is that IoT not only enhances value to physical infrastructure but also improves the quality of education itself. This is what makes schools smart: the computational IoT nervous system which keeps the institutions to smoothly function. The smart devices within the Smart School send and receive commands over the Wi-Fi connection.

The uniqueness of Smart Schools

In order to identify what makes a school smart, it is critical to understand the definitions of the phrases “smart schools,” “smart machines,” “smart boards,” and “smart devices.” The term “smart,” is increasingly evolving and in diversified contexts. Smart schools very much make use of the IoT and related devices to provide education solutions to learners. Over the past years, the phrase “smart school” uses schools that particularly use some form of a smart device known as the smartboard.

On another perspective besides the technologically oriented outlook, the phrase “SMART School program” denotes an acronym for Strategic Measurable Attainable Results-oriented and Time-bound program. Another usage of the term “smart” is when artificial intelligence such as “smart machines” have the capacity to analyze and make predictions on the success of students. From the viewpoint of Smart School, or Smart Hospital or Smart City, the word “smart” points to some form of awareness or intelligence and the ability of machines to learn or transform themselves. Smart schools often have inbuilt infrastructure allowing them to grow, adapt, and advance themselves to become important learning sites.

Internet of Things and Machine to Machine interaction

IoT basically means machine-to-machine (M2M) interactions that involve network-connected remote actuators and sensors. The wireless sensors often generate Big Data that is stored in the cloud or onsite. Smart schools today have sensors fitted in the hallways, classroom spaces, entrance and exits, and in buses. Other smart devices in such settings include fitness bands, ebook readers, and wearables. There are also smart locks, virtual reality headsets video sensors, robots, smart lights, and smart displays.

Data in these devices using systems for tracking buses, school attendance, supply, and procurement or track the learning patterns of students as they continue learning using adaptive learning systems. Every kind of activity in smart school is in track or monitoring in real-time such as in online testing. The cheap sensors fitted throughout the school compound largely enable fine-tuned HVAC to optimize the environment and cut on expenses.

In Classrooms and around the School Buildings

Attendance of students in smart schools works automatically unlike in traditional schools. Teachers are also aware of the progress of students in terms of their understanding of the content and their stages of reading. Examinations works in digital formats in both impromptu and summative testing. The wellbeing of students is also monitored especially during athletic moments using smart wrist bands. All supply inventories including wastebaskets are all tracked to ensure optimal cleanliness and management of inventory systems.

While not within the school compound, school buses are accurately on tracking using Google Maps and the school parking facilities use apps on smart devices. The lighting in schools is set to the needs of students based on weather conditions, ambient levels, expected patterns, and existing activities. In the school compound, airflow and quality, humidity, and temperature are all monitored and regulated to be conducive for learning. Classrooms have flat-screen monitors to allow the display of data from teachers’ and students’ devices while in sessions.

Future Perspectives

Besides offering teachers an enabling environment for studies, smart schools will have an impact on improving student safety. Schools that fit video sensors throughout the compound see a reduction in fighting incidents. Students become aware that they are on the video recordings in case they have any misconduct.  The introduction of IoT devices such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino can largely encourage students to perform better in STEM subjects. Moreover, they also enhance their creativity. At the same time, the smart school makes Big Data available to students. This encourages them to learn concepts of data analysis and culture their interest in taking up careers in data science. The enormous data collection from instructors and students creates challenges for school administrators in area of personal data security. In the future, IoT technologies should increase student collaboration and a safer setting for learning.


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