The IoT has been identified as an important area for innovation and economic growth by both government and the education sector (HM Treasury, 2015, p. 50; New Media Consortium, 2015, p.46-47). However, despite this level of support and interest, there have so far been little in the way of concrete developments related to the use of the IoT to enhance learning, with current examples mostly relating to the use of connected sensors in science lessons for school children (e.g. ‘Internet of (School) Things’, http://iotschool.org; Raspberry Pi Foundation , https://www.raspberrypi.org/school-weather-station-project/). Gartner (2014) suggests that, as the general consumer market is beginning to adopt the IoT through interconnected devices (e.g. Nest, http://nest.com), and online tools to process IoT-sourced data (e.g. IFTTT, https://ifttt.com/), the educational community should learn from and adapt these developments to its own agenda. However, as a fledgling area, the educational technology community has a great opportunity to help drive the direction of development of this technology by embracing it and innovating. If not, it runs the risk of following the same path as Augmented Reality – an engaging technology with significant educational potential that has been effectively claimed as a marketing tool in the public’s eye and so lost much of its appeal as a learning tool.
An outline of the session is as follows:
- Introduction to the Internet of Things. (20 mins)
- what the IoT of things is and its background
- examples from outside education
- example of current practice in education
- potential data protection and ethical considerations
- Activity (15 mins)
- Delegates will select an educational scenario and then work in groups to explore how the IoT could support it.
- Feedback (10 mins)
- Discussion of how the learning technology community can help direct the development of the IoT for educational purposes (10 mins)
- Questions (5 mins)
Gartner. (2014). Gartner Says 4.9 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2015. Available Online: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2905717. Last Accessed 20/03/2015.
HM Treasury. (2015). Budget 2015. Available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/416330/47881_Budget_2015_Web_Accessible.pdf. Last Accessed 30/03/2015.
New Media Consortium. (2015). Horizon Report 2015 – Higher Education Edition. Available online: http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-HE-EN.pdf. Last Accessed 30/03/2015