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When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), most people immediately focus on the “things”:  A Nest Learning Thermostat, a Ring doorbell, an Apple Watch. These and other cool things, sensors and devices generate valuable data about the environmental conditions within your home, the visitors at your door, and state of your health.

In fact, we recently conducted an informal survey of Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) conference attendees about IoT. AASBO members include those who work on the business side of education:  finance and accounting, facilities and operations, HR, purchasing, IT and more.

While 93 percent believe that technology benefits the learning experience, 62 percent were not at all familiar with the term IoT and more than two-thirds did not know how IoT could be used in their roles. Only those who self-identified as having “IT” roles understood what IoT was and how it might be used in education.

So here’s a quick primer on IoT. (Read more about real-world uses for IoT in education.)

IoT = Things + Connectivity + Platforms

The truth is that valuable insights wouldn’t exist without the most critical part of IoT:  the Internet.  The Internet connects all those devices and sensors to each other and to platforms that allow not only data to be generated, but processed and analyzed to help students grasp material, schools improve the student experience and increase class participation and districts to better manage their budgets.

Which makes IoT much more than just a sensor. A sensor without connectivity and a platform simply begs for a brain. The IoT gives “things”—sensors, devices, etc.—their brains in the form of connected platforms.

  • Things – The IoT landscape is made up of numerous and diverse “things” including devices (smartphones, medical devices and cameras, for example), sensors, applications, machines and robots, to name just a few.
  • Connectivity – But without reliable connectivity, things provide little value on their own. They only become “smart” when they’re connected to the Internet using technologies like software-defined networking (SDN), the intelligent edge, wireless networks, Bluetooth (BLE) and cellular.  
  • Platforms – Schools and classrooms become truly “smart” when things are connected to each other and to platforms—IoT platforms, data management platforms, visualization and analytics engines—for real-time analysis and valuable business intelligence.  

How is IoT being used in today’s schools?  Read more to find out.

Logicalis:  Helping you enable smart schools and classrooms

Navigating the complex landscape of IoT and analytics technologies can be overwhelming. Logicalis provides consulting services to help you identify ways to use data to improve the educational experience. Our dedicated Gov/Ed and IoT & Analytics practices are staffed by expert IT and education professionals who can help you take advantage of IoT-driven solutions that deliver real business impact. We can help:

  • Things – Identify which “things” can provide actionable data.
  • Connectivity – Determine the best connectivity strategy for securely connecting things to each other, to hybrid or public clouds and to IoT and analytics platforms.
  • Platforms – Identify the best platform that will allow you to capture, manage and control data in the most scalable, manageable and cost-efficient manner.

Contact us or call 1-866-456-4422 to learn more about how IoT can help you build a smart school or district.

Mike Trojecki is the vice president of IoT and analytics at Logicalis US, responsible for developing the company’s strategy, partnerships, and execution plan around digital technologies.