Week 5 Essential Question

Design a product that could live in the “Internet of Things” for the classroom.

Before this week I did not know there was such a world as the “internet of things”.Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 11.05.18 AM

Don’t get me wrong I have quite a few of those little internet things.  One of my new favorites is my Amazon Echo or Alexa as we call her.  I got her for my birthday. She’s pretty fun….in a Siri kind of way. She gets more things right then Siri but also gets a LOT of things wrong.  Maybe where I live is part of the problem with her usefulness? I don’t need a lot of traffic advice, I can look out the window and see, smell and hear my weather.  BUT she is entertaining and plays great music.  Fancy, non-essential, totally ridiculous.

As an emerging technology the internet of things has quite a few advantages then just telling me the weather.  Daniel Burrus from Wired magazine tells us that the internet of things is not about the machines communicating with each other or M2M but about the sensors that are in the machines.  And the sensors communicating with the cloud is what makes the internet of things bigger.  Sensors he says aren’t machines. A sensors job is to communicate information (sometimes TOO much information).  But the information can be life saving.

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn’t worth very much if there isn’t an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real-time. Daniel Burrus

But when does the internet of things become a little too much Big Brother?

Did you know there is a IoT for a wine bottles? Diaper sensors? Even one to tell you when to floss your teeth?  I had some fun picking around the internet this week discovering all the cool things I could buy for my daily life. Sensors to tell me anything I needed to know and to keep me healthy too!! That flosser one is just too good so here it is.

The designers even told me that with MY help I can create a better world of dental hygiene   just by brushing my teeth!

And maybe this is where it so clearly belongs as an emerging technology? We haven’t quite figured out what to do with ALL the information available to us. What makes it useful? What am I really tracking?  Putting aside all the potential for bad, Let’s think about what it might look like in a classroom. As in a perfect world classroom where no one was judging my teaching by the data being collected by sensors.

I teach kindergarten which means my days are active. We often do not sit for any longer than 15 minutes a time either at our tables or on the rug.  Even this amount of time is often too much for many of the kids, who need to be up and moving.  So I am proposing a pie in the sky seating solution.

My invention would include a small pillow that would be equipped with a sensor.  This pillow could be carried by the child from their table seat to their rug seat and would be personalized.  The seat would be able to track the amount of time students were sitting and not fidgeting.  This information could be gathered and sent to my iPad.  I would be able to track the average amount of time the majority of my students are able to remain on task and tailor my lessons to this time.  I could also see the potential for an alarm to warn me when too many of my students are off task so that I could quickly move to a different activity.

Max Meyers in Can the Internet of Things Make Education More Student Focussed certainly sees the potential in how IoT’s can help teachers modify instruction to fit individual needs of their students.  As long as the information gathered is converted into real-time indicators (like a fidget sensing pillow) and not into any personal information.  For me this would be the real reason to not include an IoT in the classroom.  Protecting the privacy of students should come first, before any data is gathered.
Burres, D. (2014, November). The internet of things is bigger than anyone realizes. Retrieved June, 2016, from http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/


Meyers, M. (2014). Can the Internet of Things make education more student-focused? – Government 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2016, from http://government-2020.dupress.com/can-internet-things-make-education-student-focused/









6 thoughts on “Week 5 Essential Question

  1. ruralakteacher says:

    I think you pillow sensor would be a great idea for student time management as long as the student remembered to take it with them as they changed activities. Maybe it could be something that would clip to their person in the morning. It would be interesting to see the data retrieved of how long they are on task. After this weeks question about IoT, I am looking closer at what types of devices I have that could “communicate” a little better together. I am also trying to think of my school setting and how to have more connectivity.
    My school population is very small (11 students) spanning grades k-12[no grade 7,10,or 11] but we do have a computer or iPad for each student for testing purposes. I could see staying a little more connected to the older students and having their technology use be more with the IoT. Thanks for your post!


  2. josies678blog says:

    My kids wanted the “fancy speaker” but I said no way. They are already asking Siri on my phone way too many questions about batman now lol. Having an answer database at your fingertips is defintely IoT technology.

    I loved your pillow invention. I kinda had the same idea about using the data as a metric to measure student’s attention rates. I think it would be good to see what times of the days and what subjects the students were more in tuned too. A more granular approach is to review the less desired subjects and try to find way to deliver the topics in different ways where attention increases. I think that discovering more opportunities for learning is a great way to use the IoT technology.



  3. waclawskid says:

    This reminds me of a type of biofeedback device only the teacher is in charge. Have you thought of putting these type of sensors in other areas so you can track how students do for each type of assignment? You could get so Sophisticated that you could prep students for activities where they needed energy and calm them down before doing seat work. this has a lot of practical applications.

    You are very correct that sometimes you have to much data and you can’t figure out what to do with it. That is why I think IOT’s need management system that can help teachers interpret this data.


  4. Sarah K says:

    I like your idea of the fidget pillow. I think this could be used in any seat that students might use, for older students. I could use the information to see how long my students can last doing the same activity and when we need to move on to something else. This actually ties in nicely with my device idea this week for measuring off-task behavior. It would be a good way to try and measure whether or not a student is on task. Great idea!


  5. triciaturley05 says:

    The idea of collecting data from your seat cushions is brilliant. That helps you think about how long the students really can sit so you can plan appropriate length sitting activities. What a great way to help support our young learners.


  6. daysha2016 says:

    I like your idea of tracking time on task. It would be great to see how the kindergarteners grow as well. The first week they start wiggling around after five minutes and then by the end of the year they are sitting for 20 minute completely engulfed in the science demonstration you are showing them! Maybe the design of their pillow could even be used as an incentive. They can change the design when they listen nicely. Of course it would be great if the app attached to this sensor gave you emergency ideas for energizers.


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