Potential of IoT & AI in Education Sector : Daily Current Affairs

Relevance: GS-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life; Achievements of Indians in science & technology; Awareness in the fields of IT, Computers, robotics

Key Phrases: Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Application of IoT in education


  • Education and learning are no longer limited to schools and classrooms. The evolution of technology has changed the way educational institutions operate. Thus, it becomes important to discuss the emerging role of AI and IoT in the education sector.


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are working together to transform the education industry. IoT has the potential of connecting a large number of devices to the Internet while AI and ML have the potential to make machines think like and mimic humans in a wireless environment.
  • Students nowadays are being given the chance to receive personalized guidance from teachers or other knowledgeable sources. This way, technologies secure independence for students and facilitate interaction between teachers and students through the use of new platforms and applications.

Related Information

What is AI?

  • AI refers to machines performing functions of natural intelligence. Computer capabilities are utilized to exempt people from routine and make their lives easier and more pleasant.
  • It can recognize speech, perform commands, track a person’s behavior, and offer information that may interest one, reason, plan, and learn e.g. Self-driving automobiles.

What is IoT?

  • Internet of Things describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.
  • With more than 7 billion connected IoT devices today, it is expected to grow to 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025.

What is ML?

  • Machine learning (ML) is a type of AI that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so.
  • ML algorithms use historical data as input to predict new output values.

AI’s potential for growth

  • AI in education is estimated to generate a revenue of $25 billion by 2030.
  • Over 47% of learning management tools are expected to incorporate AI within the next three years.
  • Higher education and research institutes are playing an essential role in bridging the skills gap for AI.
  • Innovating use of AI by emerging EdTech platforms e.g. TutorMe, Unacademy, upGrad, Microsoft AI School, Google AI School etc.

AI and IoT making the education industry more efficient

  • Help teachers to make their classroom more interactive and engaging e.g. use of animations. Helps teachers identify children who are struggling and allows them to intervene and provide support before it’s too late.
  • Makes education reachable in terms of ability, geography, and status e.g. immersion is a technique used to learn a foreign language based on real-time feedback.
  • Students who are unable to attend school due to illness or injury or live in remote areas can reap the benefits of AI.
  • Help in creating simulation environments where students can be monitored, and teachers can also provide real-time feedback to students as was seen during pandemic.
  • Task-based learning i.e. students learn-by-doing, can be achieved through IoT networking. This enables teachers to assist and monitor a student’s performance automatically.
  • A great aid for disabled students by providing technical assistance.
  • Help in automating the basic time-consuming processes of class such as attendance and grading, preparing multiple choice questions, filling in the blanks, etc.
  • Help in e-learning courses where students can access tutorials and videos from anywhere and at any time.
  • Discussion groups and forums also help students to exchange their queries, thoughts, and information.
  • Automating administrative tasks allows teachers to spend more time with students, thus improving student learning e.g. Report cards are a difficult and tedious task for teachers to prepare.
  • Learning new courses has not only become easier, but it has also provided students with more time to pursue other interests e.g. working with classmates to teach them skills they do not yet fully understand.
  • Teachers are further beginning to incorporate AI into their lessons e.g. use of voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana - effective in engaging students.

Challenges and risks of applying AI in school education

  1. Stimulating technology addiction – excessive use may cause headaches or other mental issues.
  2. The high cost of delivery – AI tools cannot be afforded by all due to their high cost.
  3. Unemployment will increase – as teachers will be left without a job.
  4. Reducing the ability to multitask – students will become specialists having fewer ideas in other spheres.
  5. Enlarge the gap between rich-poor – people who cannot afford the high cost will be left behind.
  6. Unclear ability to learn with a virtual assistant – its efficacy is not yet established fully as many complaints have been raised against online learning during the pandemic.
  7. Quantity does not mean quality – e.g. availing plenty of videos on Youtube makes it difficult to choose which one to watch.

Way Forward

  • AI is not intended to replace teachers, but to assist them in understanding each student’s potential and limitations. While most countries are struggling to implement innovations in their infrastructure, education is no exception. Innovative ideas, methods, and techniques aim to make these technologies more applicable and practical in education/learning. The fact is, if more efforts are not invested in modernizing educational systems, especially in the area of technology, we cannot expect transformation easily.

Source: Financial Express

Mains Question:

Q. The evolution of technology has changed the way educational institutions operate today. In this context, discuss the role played by Artificial Intelligence in Education Sector. [150 Words].