The Internet of Things Will Revolutionise Your Learning

Some see the Internet of Things (IoT) as a framework for a futuristic world where everything is connected across and through the Internet. At Clarity International, we would argue that we’re already living in this world, with objects controlled and generating data over intercontinental distances. This is no longer science fiction.

Internet of What?

If you haven’t read up on the IoT, the concept is generally used to described the networking of objects. Small sensors are increasingly being embedded in objects of all kinds from running shoes to home appliances to backpacks which are then linked through wireless technologies to the Internet.

According to research from Gartner, this year, we’re on track to see a 30% increase in the number of IoT-connected devices, reaching an expected 20 billion by 2020 and a creating a market worth $7.1 trillion; that’s trillion with a “T”!!!

Given the amount of opportunity and development with the IoT, this week’s post could easily go on forever, but we’re going to focus on how the it impacts workplace training, the creation of eLearning content, and the development of smart training environments.

Making it Work

Performance-assisted learning is a big part of eLearning. There, we can see IoT playing an interesting role in refining the learning being received by performers at a job. Trackers attached to specific parts of their body, equipment, or tools can create a map of their movements which can then be compared against a set of data points to determine correct job execution.

For example, workers with bad habits (e.g. a tendency to walk in dangerous areas of a work site) will obtain real-time feedback of their errors. As a result, they can then be assigned specific courses intended to help them unlearn high-risk behaviours thereby transforming safety training and lowering work-related injuries and deaths.

Content is King

However, it’s not just the devices that’re set to play a key role. eLearning content is about to be overhauled as well.

The IoT is already altering health care, security, utilities, transportation, and household management. The devices themselves might be small, but they bring about major changes in how we live, work, and educate our society; as education leaders, we must plan for and question those changes in order to stay ahead of the pack.

At Clarity International, we’ve taken general courses which cater to the entire volume of learners, and then further customised it for specific segments of learners. IoT is the technology that can provide the information necessary to create such segments.

A good number of instructional designers and subject matter experts have spent countless hours trying to develop believable and applicable training scenarios and datasets to support exercises which enhance our training materials. The IoT is a perfect solution to help make their workflow more efficient and their lives a bit easier.

Learners can now become part of the connected network that includes data, training, and learning content to shape a real-world, real-time environment where they can benefit from more current statistics and information, rather than outdated textbook or printed document.

Making Connections

L&D professionals are being presented with an ever-growing number of options to improve the connectivity of the learning environment. The IoT continues to revolutionise learning by bringing in more ‘connectedness’ though an increasing number of smart classrooms. These learning spaces can automatically capture lectures and sync notes from a training session and upload them company servers for later review.

For the “student of the future”, whether it’s adopting fitness devices to record their health indicators, tracking temperature levels in equipment, or sending mobile notifications when certain conditions are met, the learning experience is boosted, content becomes more focused, and the learner is more motivated and involved.

As we’ve covered previously, giving learners more personalised recommendations on topics that interest them can have a huge impact. The data generated by IoT-connected devices can ensure learners receive content they perhaps hadn’t considered, events that might be of interest to them, and training opportunities that could best suit their professional interests.

Conclusion

Both learning and teaching have benefited from integrating new technologies into the educational framework. However, integration by itself does not lead to a scalable, stress-free, adaptive, and personalised learning curriculum.

Our goal at Clarity International is to help our clients understand where they can improve the training that they offer the staff in a way that can improve engagement, lead to long-term performance gains, and positively impact ROI.

You can find out more about our work in Digital Learning by checking out some of the work we’ve done with Amdocs, NHS, and BT in our Case Studies.