What is The Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things has become a sort of shorthand for network-aware smart objects that connect the physical world with the world of information. A smart object has four key attributes: it is small, and thus easy to attach to almost anything; it has a unique identifier; it has a small store of data or information; and it has a way to communicate that information to an external device on demand. The Internet of Things extends that concept by using TCP/IP as the means to convey the information, thus making objects addressable (and findable) on the Internet. Objects that carry information with them have long been used for the monitoring of sensitive equipment or materials, point-of-sale purchases, passport tracking, inventory management, identification, and similar applications. Smart objects are the next generation of those technologies — they “know” about a certain kind of information, such as cost, age, temperature, color, pressure, or humidity — and can pass that information along easily and instantly upon electronic request. They are ideal for digital management of physical objects, monitoring their status, tracking them throughout their lifespan, alerting someone when they are in danger of being damaged or spoiled — or even annotating them with descriptions, instructions, warranties, tutorials, photographs, connections to other objects, and any other kind of contextual information imaginable. The Internet of Things would make access to these data as easy as it is to use the web.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • The relationship between the Internet and the human continues to evolve. I don't merely connect to a device to obtain data, but to interact and learn WITH that device. The device may be collecting and analyzing data about me (math anexiety) and translating this back to me in a form that I can understand (chill out). The device can also inform others who may need to know (instructor, tutor). Add makerspaces to the mix, and one can more fully empower students. Hancock states, "hypersituating: the ability to amplify access to knowledge of a device user's current location. This is where a mobile device and/or sensor can correlate with personal and diverse information to augment and deepen one's understanding of the surrounding physical world. The learner can both consume and create."
    http://tinyurl.com/owvoupk - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 15, 2014- jasonr jasonr Oct 17, 2014
    - helga helga Oct 24, 2014
  • I'm interested in seeing how the potential for applications of wearables impacts this discussion: http://bit.ly/1sy4f3O . - jasonr jasonr Oct 17, 2014
  • I don't think we can underestimate the impact this may have on the teaching of "doing". If we can monitor health via wearables, why not monitor student activity? If we can make using Maker tools, why not make our own things as part of lesson plans?- tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 27, 2014
  • Offers the capability to measure the physicality of learning along with the cognitive. As sensors become more accurate and transparent, what knowledge we will acquire about the physical aspects of cognition. Will will be able to connect the physicality of the body to thought. Will we be able to draw correlations between Decartes duality? - joseph.cevetello joseph.cevetello Oct 28, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Google Glass. I've thought this device would have a stronger impact at this time; it hasn't. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 25, 2014
  • I think we need to have a serious discussion about how this impacts exploding the classroom outside its traditional boundaries. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 27, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • In combination with Making this technology has the potential to create a true "college without walls" where classes can roam widely and study broadly outside the confines of the traditional classroom. It can make the virtual experiences we have been struggling to make real in the classroom literally real, creating a much more impactful, engaged learning process. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 27, 2014
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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