The Internet of Things: Digital Planner

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

Kobie, N. (2015, May 6). What is the internet of things? The Guardian. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from

Lutz, R. (2014). The implications of the internet of things for education [Systech corporation]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from

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


7 thoughts on “The Internet of Things: Digital Planner

  1. Most kids today have smart phones. I wonder if this could be an app or maybe tied somehow to Google Calendar. I worry about giving students extra hand held devices. In my experience they are often lost or damaged.

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    1. If the planner and the reading tracker were separate devices, they could be left in one location – the planner/scanner at school and the tracker at home. The idea behind the scanner is that the teacher programs all the assignment information into a QR Code so that students/parents do not need to manually put all assignments into their calendars. The device would do it for them. Because the device is synching with their calendars for their smartphones, or in my case with younger students, their iPads and parents’ smartphones, there would be no need to take the device home so no lost or damaged. It would stay at school (possibly even with a number on it so students know which is theirs) and students would use it as needed. The teacher could have a box where all the devices are placed when not being used to scan the information, which could eliminate the possibility of getting damaged in the students’ desks. The same idea goes for the reading tracker. Students would keep this at home to use while they are completing their reading homework, for my students it is twenty minutes. The device would record the pages read in the twenty minutes and send the information to the teacher, eliminating the need for students to carry it to and from school. This device could be something that parents could purchase from the school so students have ownership over it. Because my students already carry a planner and reading log to and from school and have trouble remembering these things, my idea for devices was to eliminate that, which maybe wasn’t clear.


  2. I love the digital planner idea, I have never done reading logs so I don’t know everything that goes into that, but I’m sure that idea would also be awesome to use in the classroom. My students either don’t write their assignments down or forget their planners at school. Parents would love getting these every week, I post my lesson plans online, but because they have to go to my class website to see information they tend not too, if it was sent right to their email I think they would play a much more active role in helping their students keep up on their homework because it would be right there.

    About 99.9% of my students would lose their bands though, so I think it’s good that they can just stay at one location and not be moved back and forth between school and home. Good idea!

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  3. Margaret- I love that idea! A digital planner. I don’t know how many times when we are in parent meetings and we ask the student to take out their planner and nothing is written down. This would help with those students who didn’t write it down. Also the parents would love that they get it as well so they know what is expected of them. A few years ago our team did a team letter every week. We would send out what the assignments were for each class. The parents loved it so they can keep up with their student and know what is going on. I know this would be an idea everyone would love. I also love the digital reader because again many students forget to write in their reading logs. I don’t know how many students I see trying to finish reading logs the day before it is due. This would be an excellent app. Love both ideas!

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  4. I really like how you used your invention to zero in an aspect of school that is challenging for many students. A common complaint that many teachers hear is “I forgot” or some other set of words that conveys the same sentiment. Your device really eliminates the ability to use that excuse. Also, the added function of parents being able to interact with this tool is a great feature. Students can no longer tell their parents they don’t have any homework, when in fact there is a big project due in two days. This device helps build responsibility and accountability for students while allowing parents to help.

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  5. Your digital planner sounds like a great way to help students, teachers, and parents! Students are always losing their reading logs. I like that students, parents and the teacher all have access to the planner through email. Then every one is on the same page and there would not be any excuses about missed assignments. For those students that need with help with organization the digital planner sounds like a great solution!


  6. I like the idea of using QR codes. It is so easy and fast. Just a quick scan and they have it. I think you will find a lot of parents who would want to be on the email list as well. I love your idea. I worked with the homework club at our school last year and the reading log was the one assignment that the majority of my students were missing. I know it was frustrating for everyone! Great idea!!


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