Here is an excerpt of my latest blog entry published by the TCEA TechNotes Blog:
The Internet of Things (IoT) : a network of physical objects enhanced with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that give it identity, and allow it to collect and exchange data over the Internet. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020. (source: adapted from Wikipedia)
“How cool is that?” asked my son, as we walked the aisles of freezers at the local Target store. They lighted up as we walked towards them to pick up frozen strawberries and blueberries for protein shake mixes. In the near future, this data will be relayed via the Internet to Target Headquarters, keeping track of the frequency with which thousands of customers access their products. What if learning could be like that with each book/ebook that students reach for feeding data into what was most used or accessed? The real challenge isn’t in that there are so many physical objects (50 billion by 2020) being enhanced. The question is will your children and mine be able to create and control them?
An example of practical uses of the IoT could include “smart”digitalhighlighters that enable you to highlight paper documents, then transfer highlighted text from the printed page to your favorite repository of data (e.g. GoogleDocs, Dropbox, OneNote/OneDrive). Or you can scan text with your digital highlighter and it will read the text aloud to you (source). But preparing our children for this “just around the corner” future involves doing more than simply buying IoT devices pre-made.
Let’s briefly explore five paths that you can help learners walk to achieve IoT-powered learning:
Embrace the language of things.
Unlock the future with hands-on, digital experiences.