Before I could tackle designing an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things”, I had to figure out what it means for to belong to “The Internet of Things” because I had never heard the phrase before taking this class. I found out that “it’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other” (Kobie, 2015). Once I knew the meaning, it opened up a lot of ideas for me. I especially identified with Meyers (2014) when he states, “Neurosensors, akin to Interaxon’s Muse, could provide insight into students’ cognitive activity using EEG technology that measures the rate of brain waves like one might measure a pulse. Identifying which students are expending a higher amount of cognitive energy on an exercise would allow teachers to dedicate attention to students who need it – not just those who ask for help the loudest.” This idea lead me to my design.
I would like to be able to pinpoint exactly where my students are struggling so I (and a computer program) could design individualized practice concepts or projects to help my students master difficult concepts. I would like to have my students wear a device that could track their cognitive activity both at school and at home. The device would record data for each student and compile it in a report that I could share with parents. It could identify exact concepts that frustrate students and then create an individualized or group project for the student(s) to help solidify the problem concept. Further, it could tell when the student was struggling too much with the project and make adjustments, essentially scaffolding the concept for the student. Each student could name their device and it would be interactive. Every student would have an individual plan that is differentiated for their learning needs. One other aspect that I would like the device to tell me is whether my kindergarten or first grade students are doing their homework, being read to each night and how many hours of sleep they had the previous night.
So, after my “great” design, I had to wonder what I would be doing while the device takes care of a lot of the heavy academic lifting. I would spend much of the time observing and taking notes. As a teacher, I need to make sure that progress is being made for each of my students and I cannot just trust that the device is doing its job. I could also work one-on-one with students. I would love to hear their ideas and learn about what they are doing and why they are doing it. I am sure there would be technical difficulties and I would need to be able to address them and fix them in a timely manner. Most importantly, I would be looking for new ways to use technology in my classroom. I feel that it is important for educators to remember that “advances in emerging technology offer educators a chance to move beyond some of the challenges that have traditionally hindered effective technology use in the classroom, freeing teachers not only from their physical screens but potentially from administrative tasks too. Where many technologies remain a bolt-on to the classroom, connected devices could enhance teachers’ core craft—and may even prefigure a different and exciting breed of ‘edtech’” (Meyers, Connecting the Classroom with the Internet of Things, 2015).
Kobie, N. (2015, May 6). What is the internet of things? Retrieved June 15, 2015, from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google
Meyers, M. (2014, December 3). Can the Internet of Things make education more student-focused? Retrieved June 15, 2015, from Government 2020: http://government-2020.dupress.com/can-internet-things-make-education-student-focused/
Meyers, M. (2015, March 28). Connecting the Classroom with the Internet of Things. Retrieved June 16, 2015, from edSurge: https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-03-28-connecting-the-classroom-with-the-internet-of-things