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IoT has become a buzzword in recent years and forms part of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The acronym IoT or Internet of Things refers to physical objects with integrated sensors and processors with the ability to share data and information on the internet or a local network.  The term was first used in 1999, but technically it has been part of our lives since the introduction of the first ATM’s in 1974.

Society became completely dependent on IoT devices without realising it over the last few years with the introduction of wearable devices and the like.  This has opened a myriad of new career paths that students can potentially move into.  We as educators have the responsibility to prepare students for these opportunities and whilst this can seem like a daunting task, in reality, even a traditional school can expose students to the use of IoT devices in many existing subjects. Geography is a prime example of a subject covering the use of IoT devices.  From weather balloons and digital thermometers in meteorology to traffic cameras in settlement studies are all IoT devices. Even the natural earth is essentially one giant network of IoT entities.  As we know all components of the earth are connected to each other, just think of the atmosphere and the oceans that are deeply entwined.

Physical sciences and biology are other examples where the use of IoT devices are already part of the existing curriculum.  Digital microscopes and mobile phones are regularly used to investigate and conduct experiments.  Certain educational apps like Phyphox also allow educators to use IoT when experiments are conducted, by making use of mobile phone sensors and creating graphs of the collected data.

There is a common misconception that it is expensive to utilise IoT in the classroom, but in reality, most of these devices are already available as indicated previously.  Teaching IoT is not a matter of cost, but rather a mind shift with the accompanying novel way to present a lesson. Inspire Africa has made it even easier for educators with access to the Inspire Campus, to utilise the IoT lessons and worksheets available to them.