This university’s IoT learning device is bridging tech gender gap in classrooms

This university’s IoT learning device is bridging tech gender gap in classrooms
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
17 Aug, 2018

A team of researchers from the University of Kent has deployed an Internet of Things device in Thai classrooms, which appeals to both genders and improves learning engagements, a press release said. The findings from the project, most notably, come as a deviation from earlier observations suggesting boys are more receptive to technology-based learnings than girls.

The IoT device, called Observation Learning System (OBSY), was tested in a number of primary schools in Thailand.

OBSY features several components including a temperature monitor, which can send data wirelessly to tablets provided to students by the Thai government.

To encourage indulgence and avoid learning anxiety, the device has been designed like a toy. It is used for studying the factors influencing the growth of mushrooms, observing the amount of light passing through different objects and studying a mould’s growth in different conditions.

Students could use OBSY to record the observations through features like its camera, or its monitors to note the temperatures of different objects as well as the intensity of light passing through them.

The researchers were able to note that the classes performing the experiments with the use of OBSY showed a higher engagement than those doing without it.

Also, the feedback recorded implied that the learning outcomes were not impacted by factors such as gender, age or prior exposure to technology, hinting at the underlying educational potential.

The OBSY platform, researchers believe, serves as a testament to the fact that tools and platforms can be designed in a way that appeal to both the sexes.

“The experiment with OBSY proves the potential for IoT devices across a wide variety of age ranges and could help with other deployments of similar systems in schools to help with the educational development of young children,” said Pruet Putjorn, member of the research team.