Developing an IoT Curriculum Around Graphical Programming

Alan Taylor

Developing an IoT Curriculum Around Graphical Programming

Internet of Things (IoT) is a rising star among innovative technologies, integrating computational algorithms with physical sensing components and processes. The demand for professionals with hands-on skills in IoT is increasing, but undergraduate students in STEM education lack experience in developing innovative applications.

To address this, we have developed an educational approach to incorporate key IoT concepts into undergraduate computing curricula. This approach includes creating a new course focused on IoT and revamping existing courses, as well as providing hands-on experience through an IoT innovation laboratory. Our proposed approach aims to train students with real-world applications and strengthen their hands-on skills in IoT and Data Science, thus preparing them for the workforce after graduation.

Evaluation of our approach has shown that students have a strong interest in learning about IoT technologies and applications, and their interest remains consistent even after instruction. In this article, we will explore the background and motivations behind integrating IoT technologies into the curriculum, as well as the benefits and impact on students’ career trajectories.

The Importance of IoT in Education

The Internet of Things (IoT) is not only a technological revolution but also a catalyst for economic growth on a global scale. With its potential to transform various aspects of human life, the impact of IoT has been compared to the industrial revolution. The growth of IoT applications is staggering, and experts predict it will contribute trillions of dollars to the global economy. This rapid expansion necessitates a skilled workforce capable of developing and managing IoT solutions.

However, there is a substantial shortage of workers with the necessary skills in data science and business analytics, specifically in the context of IoT. The current computer science curriculum, although comprehensive, lacks dedicated IoT courses, resulting in a gap in the education system. To bridge this gap, it is imperative to integrate IoT into the curriculum and provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the IoT industry.

By incorporating IoT into education, we can equip students with the expertise required to navigate the evolving job market and fill the demand for IoT-specific roles. This integration holds tremendous potential not only for individual students but also for the overall economy. Students who receive IoT education will be well-prepared to pursue careers in sectors such as healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture, where IoT is rapidly gaining prominence.

Integrating IoT into the curriculum will empower students to become active participants in the IoT revolution, fostering innovation and driving meaningful change. By providing students with hands-on experience and a comprehensive understanding of IoT concepts and applications, we can empower the next generation of IoT professionals and contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future.

Tools and Resources for Developing an IoT Curriculum

In order to support the development of an IoT curriculum, we have access to a wide range of tools and resources that are specifically designed to enhance the learning experience for students. One such tool is Arduino, an open-source platform that allows users to prototype IoT devices using a graphical interface. With its user-friendly design, Arduino enables students to engage in hands-on labs, fostering their creativity and innovation in the field of IoT.

Another essential tool for developing an IoT curriculum is the Raspberry Pi. This small, affordable computer has revolutionized how IoT and programming are taught. With the Raspberry Pi, students can create connected projects and gain practical experience in IoT development. By incorporating Raspberry Pi into the curriculum, students can learn visual programming and explore real-world applications of IoT.

Microsoft Learn offers a comprehensive range of learning paths and modules that cover various aspects of IoT technologies, services, and solutions. This platform provides interactive learning experiences tailored to different roles and goals, making it suitable for both classroom instruction and self-paced learning. With Microsoft Learn, students can gain a deep understanding of IoT concepts and develop the necessary skills to excel in the IoT industry.

Furthermore, Microsoft offers IoT solution accelerators that provide almost complete IoT setups, customizable to specific needs. These accelerators include a range of quickstart guides for trying out different IoT solutions. By utilizing these solution accelerators, educators can provide students with hands-on experience in building and deploying IoT solutions, further enhancing their practical skills and knowledge.

Alan Taylor