The Internet of Things is not a new concept; the idea has been around for quite some time. The first internet-connected toaster was introduced in 1989 (Kobie, N., 2015). The term was first used by Kevin Ashton in 1999 (Brady, A., 2012). During these decades as technology has continued to evolve, so has the concept of The Internet of Things. It is a concept that continues to gain popularity, and yes, it is real (Kobie, N., 2015).
The Internet of Things pertains to “connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other” (Kobie, N. 2015). One example is the Nest Home Thermostat. This thermostat is controlled through a mobile device; it can sense when you leave the house and discover your preferences (Tamburini, 2014). The impact of this evolving idea on many professions, like education, is huge. It can help teachers with special needs students, help school security during lockdowns, and increase efficiency Lutz, R., 2014). Though there is a concern of privacy and security, the Internet of Things will continue to evolve and grow; however, what the Internet of Things holds for the future is quite unknown (Kobie, N., 2015).
When thinking about the Internet of Things and what device could be useful for my students, I thought about what is difficult for them in the classroom. The two things that came to mind were remembering to bring their planners (where students write down homework and spelling words) back to school and filling out their reading logs. Because my students had challenges in these two areas, I thought of a device that could help in both areas; I would call it the Digital Planner.
With the digital planner, it would be easier for students to receive reminders for homework assignments or project due dates. Students would have all the information at their fingertips. The digital planner would be a small device that would fit in their pockets or possibly be adapted to go around their wrist like a watch. It would be programed with student emails. If parents would like the information, their emails could also be added to the devices.Teachers would create their homework/project assignments using QR Codes. Students would scan these codes with their devices. The assignments would be imported to their calendar on their school iPad or iPhone if the students have one – all data would be linked with one email. Students would be able to view a list of all upcoming assignments, projects, and spelling lists on their calendar. Teachers could customize each project with certain reminders for what is due. For example, science fair projects: there could be a separate due date for the problem, hypothesis, materials, etc. Students would have this information on a device and would not have to remember to bring a separate book to and from school. This device can even be used by high school or college level students.
To solve the problem of students forgetting their reading logs or forgetting to fill them out, the digital planner could be adapted, or a separate device of a reading tracker could be created. Digital planners could sit on top of a student’s book and record their time of reading. Once students have completed their reading, the digital planner would record how many pages were turned. From there, it would record the student’s data and send the information to teacher, parent, or student. An idea for a separate device would be a reading tracker. Beginning readers often use reading trackers to help them keep track of which line they are reading in a book. These could easily turn into a device that could time students for their reading and send teachers and/or parents an email with what the student has read during that time.
Both of these devices would be very beneficial for both my students and parents. Parents would receive the information directly, instead of students bringing papers home, and students would have less items to bring back and forth to school every day. Because everything is tied to an email account, I believe the privacy and security could be moderated and adapted. Security features could be dealt within the emails. Though this would be a challenge for students who do not have access to internet at home, all of my students or their parents currently have an iPhone or iPad. Because Kodiak has 4G access and many locations offer a free WiFi, I believe this would be accessible for all my students to use. As technology continues to evolve and develop, I hope to one day see devices similar to these.
Brady, A. (2012, February 24). The internet of things and education [Educational technologies blog]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from https://blogs.princeton.edu/etc/2012/02/24/the-internet-of-things/comment-page-1/
Kobie, N. (2015, May 6). What is the internet of things? The Guardian. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google
Lutz, R. (2014). The implications of the internet of things for education [Systech corporation]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.systech.com/the-implications-of-the-internet-of-things-for-education
Tamburini, D. (2014, October 20). What is the internet of things and what does it mean for design? [Line/shape/space]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.wirelessdesignmag.com/blogs/2014/10/what-internet-things-what-does-it-mean-design