The Internet of Things is coming to your school

Internet of Things devices are cropping up in schools everywhere. IT is taking note — and so are students

After being introduced to the Internet of Things (IoT) by a local software company, Tiffany Davis’ first instinct was to consider what the concept would look like in the K-12 setting. “It was appealing to me because [IoT] is the direction that most products are taking in the business world,” said Davis, who is the instructional technology specialist at John R. Briggs Elementary School in Ashburnham, Mass.

Davis’ re-imagining of IoT for a new context is nothing new. In recent years, the IoT has touched nearly every piece of technology we interact with.

Defined by Gartner as “the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment,” IoT is a somewhat nebulous concept that promises to change the way we use objects, products, and technology in general. In A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet Of Things,” Forbes’ Jacob Morgan defines IoT as the act of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the internet (and/or to each other). In the consumer world, these devices include mobile phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices like Fitbits, and even heavy equipment like jet engines.…Read More

The Internet of Things smart school is coming

As the Internet of Things impacts education, IT leaders are envisioning uber-connected schools and campuses

Close to half (46 percent) of K-12 and higher-ed IT leaders in a recent survey said they believe an Internet of Things smart school — a school using Internet of Things devices to transform learning environments — will have a major impact in the next one to two years.

Nine percent of respondents said they have implemented parts of a smart school plan, 3 percent plan to implement the technology in the next 1-3 years, 23 percent are aware of it and beginning to investigate it, 36 percent are slightly aware of the topic, and the concept is entirely new to 29 percent.

The survey of more than 600 IT leaders, from Extreme Networks, notes that the scope of smart schools extends beyond traditional interactive classroom technologies and can include wearables, sensors located throughout classrooms, eBooks and tablets, collaborative classrooms, and smart lighting and HVAC.…Read More