Archive for September 11th, 2017

The Internet of Things in Education : Tendencies and Assumptions

September 11th, 2017

BY MELISSA BURNS

Education is an area where one expect innovations to take hold as soon as they become available – and at the same time one of the most conservative industries out there. To a considerable degree modern schools and colleges still keep on using methods and principles that have been developed centuries ago – and not always because there is nothing better.

However, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and it finally seems that we are about to experience a serious paradigm shift – and education in five-ten years’ time may be something completely different from what we are used to. What will it be? Nobody knows. But at least we can see some tendencies and build assumptions based on them.

How Your College Experience May Change after Implementing the IoT in Education?

1.    Safety

Although it may be considered to be an invasion of privacy, schools and universities can use connected devices to monitor their students, staff, equipment and other resources, thus leading to a more safe environment outside of the classroom. It will make locating stolen devices quick and easy, students will be able to check on the location of connected buses to alter their schedules and spend less time in potentially dangerous locations, and if something happens to a student, the authorities will be able to take action sooner.

2.    Individualization of Education

The most valuable instruction is the one that is given personally, that is adapted to the needs and peculiarities of a particular person, that takes his strengths and weaknesses into account. Normally, teachers and professors simply don’t have the resources (primarily time) to do so when they have to pay equal attention to dozens if not hundreds of students. The rise of connected technology means that instructors will spend less time performing routine jobs like grading tests and more instructing students individually. If all the devices used in studying are connected to the cloud, it let professors gather information on the progress of individual students and help them modify their approach for each of them.

3.    Energy Efficiency

A school or university that fully “goes smart” – that is, introduces a web-based system to control all the mechanical equipment inside the building – will dramatically increase its operational efficiency. Moreover, it isn’t even necessary to build an entirely new building to fully introduce such a system – this effect can be reached even in older buildings through the installation of smart sensors where appropriate.

4.    Automation of Routine Tasks for Students

According to the 2015 data, more than 70 percent of American high school students have smartphones, and almost all schools in the country have Internet access. Students already use their mobile devices to perform a wide variety of tasks, many of them education related – note-taking, scheduling, finding information sources, research. Full integration with the IoT will simply mean that this practice will be accepted as legitimate, introduced as a part of the education process and optimized for maximum efficiency. Students will get an opportunity to spend less time performing routine tasks (like consulting dictionaries, looking for books, taking notes, etc.), and centralized scheduling will make it easier for them to keep track of all their activities and lessons.

5.    The Change in the Role of the Classroom

With the use of connected devices, students get access to almost identical resources at home and in the classroom. As a result, many of the tasks that recently only could have been done in class will be moved outside, with only the activities requiring active participation from students in groups remaining there.

These are just the most obvious applications of IoT in education – just like with most other things, technology will likely be used in ways we cannot even predict so far.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at burns.melissaa@gmail.com

 

Insomnia or Lack of Sleep May Affect Your Studying Efficiency?

September 11th, 2017

BY DAVID GUTIERREZ

College students are busy with classes, homework, social lives, and oftentimes, jobs on top of everything else. That doesn’t leave much time for sleep, so many college students end up getting less than the recommended 7-9 hours per night. Most students average somewhere closer to 6 hours, which is close to the recommended amount, but there’s a significant portion of the college community getting far less sleep than that.

Unfortunately, even an hour of missing sleep per night can add up, negatively impacting your study habits—and your college performance in general.

How Insomnia Affects Your Studies

Missing out on sleep regularly may not seem like a big deal if you’re able to get to class on time and muddle through with the help of caffeine—especially if the other members of your peer group are going through the same experience.

However, lack of sleep can affect your studies in multiple ways:

  • Missing sleep—even one night of it—can interfere with your ability to focus. Your brain will have trouble staying on task, which means you’ll drift off in the middle of a lecture, and you’ll find yourself re-reading the same sentence, over and over again while studying on your own. It’s an incredibly inefficient way to study—and a frustrating one at that.
  • Tiredness and sleeplessness are also associated with impaired memory, even if you take caffeine to counteract your feelings of exhaustion. That means you’re less likely to remember details you hear, see, or read about, which defeats the entire purpose of studying.
  • To a lesser extent, missing out on sleep can impact your mood, which can, in turn, impact your performance in class. If you’re chronically irritable and/or depressed, you may refuse to go to class altogether, or skip out in the middle of a study group because you’re frustrated with the other people.
  • Finally, don’t underestimate the impact that missing sleep can have on your health. You’ll be more susceptible to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, and you’ll also be more vulnerable to colds and physical illnesses—which can take you out of school for days.

Identifying the Root Cause

There are many simple, practical tips for getting a better night’s sleep, but chances are, there’s one or more underlying root causes specifically responsible for your lack of sufficient sleep. Identifying and understanding them is the best way to improve your sleep habits.

These are some of the most common:

  • Noisy roommates. If your roommates are night owls, they may disturb you while you’re trying to sleep. They may also bother you unintentionally; since stress is a leading cause of snoring, it’s entirely possible that one or more of your roommates could start snoring during their time at college. Either way, you’ll need to have an open conversation about how you can accommodate each other’s needs, potentially including finding a new roommate (in extreme situations).
  • Overbooked schedules. You may also have an overbooked schedule, especially if you’re working in addition to being a full-time college student. If you have 17 hours of activities booked in your schedule for the day, that leaves you only 7 hours to get home, decompress, and get to sleep. If this is the case, it may be time to cut some activities.
  • Insomnia and stress are highly correlated, so it’s natural to experience sleeplessness in high-stress situations, such as the week before finals. Take precautions to reduce and manage your stress load, such as physically exercising and meditating.
  • Misplaced priorities. You may also be losing sleep simply because you haven’t made it a priority. You might prefer staying up late at night with your friends, or attending parties in addition to your already-packed workload. You have to make sleep a priority, or it isn’t going to work.
  • Formal sleep disorders. In rare cases, you may be experiencing an inherited sleep disorder, independent of what you’re experiencing at college. It’s worth talking to a doctor to find out.

If you want to perform at your best and study more effectively, you need to get the full amount of the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. That may require making some sacrifices, and rearranging your schedule, but ultimately, you’ll be able to learn more in less time, and you’ll feel happier, healthier, and more energetic. Don’t let something simple, like lack of sleep, prevent you from making the most of your college experience.

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.