Internet of Things

Week 5 Essential Question: Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.

Before I can answer the essential question for the week, I must address a few other questions:

What is the internet of things?

Benson Hougland (2014) had a great description in his Tedx Talk about the Internet of Things (IoT).   The internet was designed to connect people, while the IoT connects things. Things can share data, interact, and collaborate with other things.

Using a comparison I could understand, he said people interact and collaborate through 5 senses; now things have senses (where you are, if your moving, sensing light, etc) and can communicate. Then he added that because they communicate on a network they know how to “listen.”

Nicole Kobie (2015) writes that the IoT is about “connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other.”

Of course security is very important (Hougland, 2014) and must be addressed.

What does the IoT look like in the classroom?

Max Meyers (2014) says connected devices have the potential to drive new ways of teaching and transform the experience both for students and educators.

But how?

He suggests that as students walk into the classroom, attendance could be logged automatically using a smartband type device. A “beacon” might send a warm-up directly on their smart tablet.  Neurosensors provide insight into students’ cognitive activity—and essentially who needs help. A teacher could send a vibration to students’ wearable band or tablet to redirect off task behavior (Meyers, 2014).


So now I’m ready to address the Essential Question: Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.

If I were to use a device that belongs in the IoT in the classroom, it would be to make our lives easier and to allow me to focus more on students and less on bookkeeping matters. Before using a device in the classroom, I’d need to consider the security and privacy. But let’s assume that we’ve crossed that bridge already.

When considering this question I had to think of the parts of the day/activities that take the most of my time away from students. I came up with:

  • checking in/out books
  • announcing/changing classroom jobs
  • attendance
  • collecting papers (and grading them after school)

First I thought that I’d design a smart books shelf, but then quickly decided that a Kindle would do the same thing much more efficiently. From there I thought we could take the Kindle idea and make each students’ desk a smart surface and individualized for their needs. They could check choice books out and read them (or have them read aloud using earbuds) and also have their textbooks available on the tablet/surface. Students could also write with a stylus and get instant feedback on some practice like math problems and spelling tests.   From here I think of how Hougland talked about devices talking to each other and thought these Smart surfaces/tablets would “talk” to the teacher device, we’d still need a student specific device to talk to the tablet. I thought about Hougland’s smart watch vibrating to wake him up and alerting the coffee maker to turn on. If students wore a band, it could signal when they sat down, automatically doing attendance, and like Meyers (2014) mentioned could send warm-up work to their tablet, and I’d even add an icon with their daily “job” in the top corner of their screen to eliminate time. When students complete their work, a copy could be sent to the teacher’s device, eliminating the need to collect papers.



Kobie, Nicole (2015 May 6). What is the internet of things? Theguardian. Retrieved from:


Meyers, Max (2014, Dec 3). Can the internet of things make education more student-centered? Deloitte Development LLC. Retreived from:


Tedx Talk. Benson Hougland (2014, Dec 17): What is the internet of things and why should you care? Retreived from:


11 thoughts on “Internet of Things

  1. waclawskid says:

    I like the features you have in your tablet. It seem that what teachers need is one database that could collect data from multiple devises, programs and websites and then report it back in a reportable fashion. Have you thought about having one program where you could set this up for students and all they would have to do is turn the device on?

    Liked by 2 people

    • akreadingteacher says:

      You’re idea for one program is really interesting! When I was thinking about this device I was wondering how the changeover would work from year to year. I guess I see it as similar to an iPad. The students would select their name/login and their personalized desktop would appear. I feel like there would have to be different apps for different textbooks or writing apps, etc, but it seems like with the technological knowledge out there the device would be able to collect all the data and condense it into one format for an “easy” report for teacher’s to access.


  2. unicyclepro says:

    I think every teachers’ time would be tremendously freed if we had technology systems grade for us! That’s one of the components of my device I created. There are systems in place already that will allow to do this. Online courses for instance. Yes, they primarily grade multiple choice, true/false, and matching questions with ease, but it would be great to grade written work such as text or math problems with multiple step solutions. I think we can get there. I think your idea is great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sara Lucas says:

    I love this idea! I also read the article by Meyers and loved some of his ideas. Students wouldn’t have to check out the books or materials. Warm ups could be sent directly to students. Teachers would have data to more efficiently and effectively help students you’d idea would add to that in that classroom devices wouldn’t need to be charged, as I assume the desk would be permanently plugged in. We wouldn’t have to worry about a device going missing. This really would save so much time.

    I appreciate how you came up with the idea, by going through some of the challenging aspects in your classroom. I did not think to do this, but it was a great idea.


    • akreadingteacher says:

      Thanks Sara! Starting out on this assignment was a little challenging, once I thought of using it to solve common problems, it almost designed itself. I was talking about this with my younger brother and he said, “It sounds like you’re just getting lazy!” LOL I said no way-this frees me up to TEACH 😉


  4. Sarah K says:

    I really like your idea of a smart surface on the desk top. I could easily adapt this to my high school chemistry classes. If student devices could talk to the teacher tablet, it could also make asking for help a more streamlined process. Students wouldn’t need to worry about others knowing they needed help, and you could either help them directly from the tablet, or address the whole class if it becomes obvious that multiple students need more scaffolding.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. triciaturley05 says:

    Classroom jobs! Everyday I change my board for that, rotating names around. Your idea seems like it would really streamline some of the more mundane classroom responsibilities to allow for more time for the students to think and learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. daysha2016 says:

    Kayla, I think you’re on to something. I mean we use to use chalkboard and now we have smart boards. A smart desk only seems like the next step. Although I’m sure their are negatives to he production of these desk think about how much paper would be saved.

    Liked by 1 person

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