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.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Sam Sam Nov 1, 2011

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

  • "In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations." - Neil Gross 1999. With The Internet of Things feedback is immediate, mostly accurate and constant. This 'setting' found in most devices will be able to monitor student learning quickly, allowing the learner to quickly adjust. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 14, 2013
  • As interesting will not be students as just another cog in this system, but in there learning to use this system to understand environments, ask questions, and devise interventions.- alanwolf alanwolf Oct 22, 2013
  • This instrumentation will have a valuable role as a data source to develop more accurate models and simulations. These two technologies will need to go hand-in-hand to allow experimentation to occur on assessing the impact of changes in systems.- alanwolf alanwolf Oct 22, 2013
  • there's an emergent quality to TIoT that makes it hard to predict the impact. I do think it will be felt first in the sciences where it allows new kinds of experiments both for research and learning but the implications are broader. - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 23, 2013

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

  • As with TMI, there can also be too much data. The concern would be too much focus on the data/numbers, not the learning...and the experience of failure. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 14, 2013 - A very important point - helga helga Oct 20, 2013 Agreed. - Melissa.Langdon Melissa.Langdon Oct 27, 2013
  • Major issues for privacy and individual autonomy. - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 23, 2013 The over-sharing of students' personal data may affect academics' ability to maintain critical objectivity and distance when assessing their work. - Melissa.Langdon Melissa.Langdon Oct 27, 2013

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

  • Immediate feedback. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 14, 2013
  • Combined with simulation, this can become a very powerful hands-on teaching tool.- alanwolf alanwolf Oct 22, 2013
  • Enabling new experimental methods. - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 23, 2013

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?