Imagine a future where education has become embedded into daily life and is no longer only associated with schools, colleges and universities; a time where people can access learning when and where they need to increase their knowledge or skills. Imagine a future where a learner can be sent information which has been contextualized to their particular immediate need. Imagine learners who can not only access pre-recorded presentations on topics of interest by experts in the field, but also invite that expert to explain a concept instantly through a live interaction.  This is the sort of future that is possible as more and more things (and people) become connected.  This information sharing capability combined with big data analysis offers the promise of an exciting and motivating learning experience for people of all ages. The new world of education will make massive use of connectivity to enable all learners to access relevant resources at the moment when there is a need for new knowledge and understanding.

Cisco is a strong believer in the power of the Internet and its ability to speed up communications and to accelerate growth; today, the Internet connects people to many things, but it can also connect them to processes and data, creating new capabilities and unprecedented socio-economic opportunities for everyone on the planet.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) will amplify this hyper-connectedness in ways never imagined before. It will connect people delivering the right information to the right person in the most effective and efficient manner. The IoE will start (and has already started) increasing access to education by connecting the unconnected, allowing learners to become co-creators of knowledge and using technology to better understand physical, social and environmental phenomena taking place inside and outside the classroom.

Recognizing this potential, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) and the Cisco EMEAR Education team are collaborating to produce a white paper about the impact of IoE on education, its potential challenges, opportunities, implications and success factors. The paper will explore the potential of IoE for education across four fundamental pillars: PEOPLE, PROCESS, DATA and THINGS, and the value it can bring across all sectors of education.

These four pillars will undoubtedly be interconnected in learning activities, and as such, the paper starts by exploring the impact each can have on education and what will need to happen to support, build on and scale some of the practices currently being planned or adopted. The paper collects some examples of interesting cases and initiatives taking place around the world and the efforts by some institutions to change standard practice and find educational applications of IoE. Furthermore, the paper explores the need to rethink our current approaches to pedagogy, methodology, curriculum, assessment, and skills development so education systems can better prepare the next generation of scientists, engineers, and specialists that will not only profit from the opportunities of IoE, but also will contribute to its future development.

The economic implications of the IoE are just starting to be quantified. Cisco Consulting Services’ Economics Practice has determined that there is a $14.4 trillion of Value at Stake in the IoE economy over the next decade; for education, the IoE has worldwide a 10-year net present value of $175 Billion. But going beyond economics, the opportunities the IoE can bring to education are priceless.

The paper, which will be released at the end of October, is just one of a set of deliverables to start a global conversation about IoE and its potential implications for education. In addition to the paper, there will also be a video, and next year, the potential development of a pilot on IoE scenarios for education.

We invite you to stay tuned for the release of the paper and to engage through this channel on the global conversation about the Internet of Everything and its impact on education.

Michelle Selinger, Ana Sepulveda, Jim Buchan