By Santosh Gopalkrishnan and Madhura Bedarkar
Digital transformation in education has been taking place for quite some time. However, the pandemic came as an enhancer for that. Online classes, internet-of-things (IoT) have played a crucial role in increasing the pace of digital transformation 2.0 in the education sector.
Alexa on your Mobile Phone (Built-In): “I have ordered an anti-dandruff shampoo for you, as per your skin type based on your dermatologist report keeping in mind the upcoming winter season. It should reach you by tomorrow”. If you think this is from an upcoming movie, you are wrong. This is one of the more common occurrences these days – with the advent of more and more technological devices using Digital Transformation 2.0 along with the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner defines Digital Transformation as “The process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model.”
Digital transformation entails the adoption of digital technologies across different areas of a business or organisation. An organisation adopting digitisation might end up benefiting from process improvement, greater productivity, better customer experience, higher employee engagement, cost minimization and also improve overall organisational efficiencies. Many organisations are enhancing their digital presence and footing by exploring ‘Digital Transformation 2.0’ using newer and connected technologies, new business models with devices that can ‘talk’ to each other and share and collate data.
IoT has tremendous potential in the education sector and is already ushering in a digital revolution.
Due to the prohibitive costs involved in setting up such advanced technological systems, IoT has proven to be a boon for many organisations as it helps share computing prowess across a common platform between connected devices. IoT is the key to digital transformation as it enables organisations to use IoT applications and platforms to digitise their products or services. In layman terms, IoT refers to physical devices across the globe connected via the internet that share user data and preferences on common parameters to enable transactional ease and increased value delivery.
IoT has tremendous potential in the education sector and is already ushering in a digital revolution. Improving student engagement, access to study material, conducting evaluations, safety on campus etc. are just a few areas with visible impact.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to shift all our activities online, including education.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to shift all our activities online, including education. IoT enabled devices being used to offer the same via University Campuses would enable a lot more functionalities that could be driven into the classroom, thereby making the education process far more impactful. Schools, Colleges and Universities can have IoT enabled security systems in place that can help monitor campus security.
Depending on the categorisation of the camera feeds coming in; the microprocessor can decide on the number of days to store the CCTV footage – thereby prioritising one very important component – storage space. IoT can offer various other opportunities to educational institutes such as using simulations to learn foreign languages; smart classrooms with augmented reality and virtual reality; encouraging task-based learning for the learners; supporting disabled students; classroom monitoring; automating attendance monitoring; caring for students’ physical and mental health apart from others.
Online examination processes during university examinations can be made more impactful by using smart devices.
Online examination processes during university examinations can be made more impactful by using smart devices such as tablets or PCs that can track eyeball movement to detect if there is an attempt to indulge in any sort of malpractices by the student.
Professors can save time while evaluating answer scripts by having plagiarised content and its original source is shown as a popup so that appropriate judgments can be taken in scoring the candidates. While this feature is currently available in various plagiarism-checker software; the use of IoT can integrate this feature across multiple devices that would make the evaluation process sharper and more focussed.
Also, student behaviour data can be further analysed to see if a specific student is a habitual offender – and if yes, the university can then take appropriate steps as desired. IoT enabled systems can leverage common data to arrive at funding decisions towards student-loans; and not just with a yes or no response; but with a deeper insight with a range of possible interest rates that could be levied on to the student loan.
This insight would be based on a multitude of factors including the student’s results from his/her entrance examination, the university and the college’s ranking, the student’s past academic records, and last but definitely not the least – the financial repaying capacity and the credibility of the customer.
Common data insights stored on IoT platforms by Banks (interest rates and customer credit risk patterns) and by Universities (past student academic records, entrance exam scores and results etc.) would be some of the parameters required. While some of these actions are carried out currently, having all stakeholders on one common unified IoT platform would make these possible.
In this entire story somewhere, if there is someone who can tie all these loose ends together – it is the Entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs across levels can pitch in and make this possible in leveraging IoT to bring in Digital Transformation 2.0 in the field of Education.
(Santosh Gopalkrishnan is Assistant Professor and Madhura Bedarkar is Deputy Director at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.)
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