Monday, March 30, 2015

New Realities in Education: The Internet of Things

Posted by Linda Ashida

Think about what school was like five years ago . . . And think how things have changed! Who could have predicted back then the future of Elk Grove High School? A school where every student would have a mobile device that would transform they way they learn. Five years ago, few people had even seen or used an iPad, and here we are preparing to be a full 1:1 iPad school for the 2015-16 school year!

So what will the future bring?

I think it is exciting to imagine future realities in education.  There will certainly be new and innovative developments that we cannot currently imagine.

I am intrigued to see what will develop with a new trend in technology that is beginning to spark interest with educators:  The Internet of Things (IoT).

If you haven't heard of IoT,  you might want to read "A Beginners Guide to the Internet of Things." In this article, Bonnie Cha explains:

Smart locks, smart thermostats, smart cars — you’ve probably heard some of these terms lately, and you’re going to hear them even more as the year goes on. But what are these things exactly — and what makes them so smart?
These devices are all part of an emerging category called the Internet of Things, or IoT for short. At its very basic level, IoT refers to the connection of everyday objects to the Internet and to one another, with the goal being to provide users with smarter, more efficient experiences.
So what does this have to do with education? How will IoT transform the way we learn and problem solve? Some answers are already coming out of the The University of Wisconsin's Internet of Things Laboratory.  They refer to it as an interdisciplinary "technology sandbox" where students and professors collaborate and design innovative projects to demonstrate the possbilities of IoT.  According to their website, "IoT will "transform the way we live, work, and play."  You can see some examples in the following video: Internet of Things 101: Inside the Latest Trend in Education.  

To see more examples of innovative student projects with IoT, check out the University of Wisconsin Internet of Things Website

Another article, "Can the Internet of Things make education more student-focused?" explores the impact of IoT on traditional school institutions.  According to author Max Meyers, "connected devices have the potential to drive new ways of teaching and transform the experience both for students and educators."

If you want to be even more fascintated by the possiblities of the Internet of Things, check out #IoT on Twitter!

It will be interesting to read this post five years from now to see just what unimagined things in education, including applications of IoT, have become realities.


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