If the Internet of Things (IoT) is popping up all around us in our homes, businesses, and cities, it’s no wonder that universities are evolving to keep up with this massive technological wave as well. Because universities strive to foster innovation, many see the IoT as a doubly-golden opportunity: on one hand, it allows them to design and test out the newest technologies; on the other hand, it is a means of vastly improving the university experience.
Numerous improvements are already evident. According to Danielle R. (2017), simply connecting to the campus-wide WiFi using a personal device allows students and staff to access information about the campus based on their location; e.g., to help redirect a lost student using interactive map data, to inform visitors of historical or local facts, or to check the availability of rooms for studying. Universities can also use the IoT to track the flow of people in and out of buildings in order to adjust their HVAC systems and maintain optimal room temperatures. Some universities are even considering integrating wearables in order to track students’ health and better cater to students’ needs.
And the improvements on the university level may very well be a preview of more widespread changes. According to Hudson (2016), “Leveraging the IoT, smart campuses can be test beds for early IoT innovations to inform decisions making for the surrounding cities and communities and can serve in public-private partnerships.” Faculty and students alike are working together on IoT technologies and business models that can provide new services or improve existing ones for various businesses and consumers (Hudson, 2016).
The IoT is seen as a valuable means of gathering data, and universities are eagerly leveraging this data to improve the student experience both inside and outside the classroom (Bogardus, 2017). Improving the university experience, and students’ experiences, helps universities fuel further innovation and stay on the cutting edge of research and technological advancement, driving a positive feedback cycle that isn’t bound to slow down anytime soon.
Interested in finding out more about the Internet of Things and how your organization can prepare for it? Check out our online course program: IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.
Bogardus, M. (2017, Feb 20). 3 ways colleges are utilizing the Internet of Things. EdTech.
Hudson, F. (2016, Jun 27). The Internet of Things is here. EDUCAUSE.
R. D. (2017, Jun 14). 5 ways to use the Internet of Things in higher ed. eCampus News.