The Impact Of IoT In Education

Wondering how the IoT (Internet of Things) is impacting education? Simply look at the way students and teachers are starting to use this type of technology for learning and teaching purposes. The impact is largely positive, but there are also some issues that need to be addressed.

Education is now largely more democratized and accessible for most students. Unlike in the pre-smart phone and pre-Cloud-based services era, learning, whether online or in person, is no longer static.

Today, it’s easy to set up virtual spaces and work online, and it’s all thanks to technology.

What are the impacts of technology in education?

The impacts of technology in education can't be overestimated. It has extended far and wide, beyond traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms into virtual schools, particularly so at the height of the pandemic.

A specific part of this boom in technology is the Internet of Things, or IoT. The IoT encompasses a wide range of interconnected or networked smart and non-smart gadgets. Some are as simple as sensors, while others are as complex as mainframe computers. Some act as peripheral devices that can be remotely controlled anywhere in the world with internet connection, such as IP camera security systems. Others serve as output devices, like 3D printers and holographic projectors.

Interconnected IoT devices are now being used for various purposes to aid education, not just in student learning, but also in schools’ administrative functions.

The various impacts of technology in education can be placed into three categories:

  1. Instruction - including audio-visual materials, interactive models, DIY modular assembly kits, augmented reality, and virtual reality tours.
  2. Student management - checking assignments, monitoring attendance, and administering exams can all be done with the help of technology.
  3. Collaboration - various online platforms allow for real-time collaboration on projects. For instance, a science project uploaded to the Cloud can be shared, accessed, and edited by a group of students.

Using the IoT for interactive learning

Many students are visual or tactile learners. They can understand concepts and absorb information better if they can see and touch it. One way that the IoT can help in interactive learning is through the use of virtual reality goggles with haptic gloves. This is very useful in visualizing 3D objects as computer models.

For instance, a student can learn about the anatomy and physiology of the heart by exploring a 3D virtual reality model of the organ. Similarly, a student who is interested in architecture can compare various architectural designs and even make design tweaks through virtual reality.

The Internet of Things also makes it easier for students to interact and collaborate together. In a STEM context, for example, one group of students could write code while another group tests and implements it in hardware such as a robotic arm.

Examples of the IoT in education

IoT devices are being used in education in various ways. Some are used as input devices, such as scanners and cameras. Others are used as output devices, such as monitors and printers. Here are some examples of IoT devices and their applications in education.

1. Online video-based learning

Online video-based learning includes both recorded and live video. A Zoom meeting of a teacher and his students for an online class is an example of live video-based learning, and it can be a convenient way to enhance the classroom setup. For instance, your students can attend a live online video lecture conducted by an expert in a completely different geographical location.

2. Smart pen scanner

A smart pen scanner is a miniaturized image scanner that can scan pages of books and documents, as well as images. It can digitize and compress scanned pages for storage. This can later be printed or simply displayed on a monitor or projector.

3. Interactive lessons

Interactive lessons can be online or in-person, or even in a guided tour. They can involve the use of augmented reality with the aid of smart goggles or mobile devices, and have specific apps for interactive experience.

4. Instant feedback

Instant feedback between students and teachers is very important as it allows you to be more responsive. IoT devices enable this real-time communication and interaction, and allows educators to quickly facilitate their lessons.

Popular applications within IoT education

Devices such as televisions and projectors have been indispensable tools over the years for classroom teaching. But times change. The modern high-tech classroom has new tools at its disposal. Here are some examples.

1. Smart board

The old blackboard or whiteboard has been the ubiquitous but low-tech counterpart of the audio-visual devices in the classroom. It’s long been due an upgrade. The smart board is an interactive, touchscreen display that uses smart pens. It’s quick, simple, real-time technology that makes teaching much more efficient.

2. Attendance systems

Attendance systems for schools can be used both by students and school employees. Networked biometric systems, such as fingerprint attendance recorders, can be programmed to register student biometrics. Other more advanced systems may include facial scanners or retinal scanners as biometric IDs.

3. Screen readers

Schools cannot discriminate against people with disabilities, such as the blind. Screen readers can help visually impaired students to learn. These programs and their hardware counterparts can convert the screen display into speech or Braille.

How do these applications impact education?

IoT systems and devices make education more accessible. They facilitate learning and teaching, and make education more democratized.

Using IoT devices as teaching tools also creates a really engaging learning experience for your students. Getting hands-on, seeing technology working and getting instant results are highly motivational aspects of learning.


Various smart devices can be networked together to form IoT systems. These can be accessed through the internet by using mobile handheld devices, laptops, and desktops. They can be used for various purposes in education.

Are you an educator looking for IoT resources for high school? Take a look at Arduino Education’s Explore IoT Kit and how it can support your hands-on IoT lessons.