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.
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
- 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: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google
Meyers, Max (2014, Dec 3). Can the internet of things make education more student-centered? Deloitte Development LLC. Retreived from: http://government-2020.dupress.com/can-internet-things-make-education-student-focused/
Tedx Talk. Benson Hougland (2014, Dec 17): What is the internet of things and why should you care? Retreived from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AlcRoqS65E