EDTECH 537: Commentary

I have always had a fascination with keeping up with new trends in technology and one area in particular that interest me is the concept known as the internet of things. For those that still have not been introduced to this concept, the internet of things is basically connecting the internet to new and older products. For example, security systems, refrigerators, cars, skateboards, etc. that have an online configuration of some kind that can be accessed via web or mobile app. With the digital state we live in it is becoming common for products to include some form of online function. I bring this up because I recently read an article that talks about how the internet of things could be used in educational institutions. Some of the suggestions I believe may already be in use to some capacity.

Safety and monitoring where students are. Some suggestions were to have students with ID cards or wristbands that are able to be tracked so parents and teachers could see locations of their students at all time. Also connect buses so they can be tracked on a mobile app for parents or teachers. Install the use of smarter security systems and other school infrastructures could be improved with online elements. Think lighting or heating/cooling.

As for in the actual classroom, the use of technology and devices is becoming more acceptable and common. You could make extra use of these devices by included analytics to study what students are actually doing. It could help with keeping attendance, and finding ways to personalize the educational experience for the student. There is a lot of opportunities that could be had in this area. You could also include other connected devices such as smart whiteboards or even VR type experiences that help to encourage group interactions.

Now for the downside of internet of things in educational institutions. Number one is the high cost. These things cost money and schools may not have the necessary funding or resources to implement these types of devices into their institutions. Second is the fear of security issues. A common theme you hear about on the news about the internet of things is these online devices hitting shelfs too early without proper security testing and then become vulnerable targets that may be easily exposed. Last thing educators want is for classrooms or entire schools being hacked. New laws and regulations have been drawn up to help keep up with these security issues that seem to follow the internet of things, but some people may still have their doubts. Lastly, for schools to go completely or mostly online there is the fear of privacy issues. As the article mentions nobody is probably interest in a 1984 big brother atmosphere especially with the monitoring and storing of student’s data.

I am sure you could think of other possible issues that could be caused by the internet of things in classrooms, but these are merely suggestions on how to improve our current institutions. Funding the high costs and acceptance by faculty, students, and parents are conversations that may need to happen in the near future if they haven’t already begun.

Sciforce. (2019, April 9). Internet of Things for the Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.iotforall.com/internet-of-things-classroom/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=iotforall&utm_content=Internet%20of%20Things%20for%20the%20Classroom

9 thoughts on “EDTECH 537: Commentary”

  1. This is such an interesting issue! There are obviously so many uses in the classroom, but probably just as many concerns. It makes me think about devices that are always listening, such as an Xbox Kinect or an Alexa enabled device. Most of the time these work great, but there have been stories about them going awry. Anyways, I could see people having an issue with the internet of things when it comes to their children as there are so many what-ifs.


    1. The technology with voice interactive devices is fascinating stuff but I still want nothing to do it in my personal life. I find it odd how companies will admit they are recording and stored in a server farm somewhere. I just imagine so many privacy issues that could arise if that data was leaked into the wrong hands.


  2. This is fascinating! The idea of being able to track a school bus via a mobile app really jumped out to me. I remember waiting for the bus for a long time as a kid, not sure if I missed it or it was just late. It would be so cool if you could just open an app to see where it was. I think using this type of technology with students is interesting too because I agree that it could be good and bad. It would make things like attendance really easy but the fear of students information being compromised is definitely real. Our district’s internet was hacked while all students were working on standardized testing on computers. Luckily, they didn’t get any information.


  3. It’s disappointing that there are hackers and internet companies that might allow others to access information without the owner’s permission. If this wasn’t an issue, the teachers might be able to assist the students better with online tools.


    1. Yeah it is a shame how hackers and data leaks can really ruin things on a major scale. I had my personal data compromised by a local company, and then just recently found out it compromised by a major credit monitoring company. Just shows it can happen anywhere at any time so it is hard not to be extra cautious and protective.


  4. I often hear about the negative aspects of the Internet of things, however, you have presented a larger list of positive applications and that’s refreshing to read.


    1. I attend a lot of cyber security seminars for work and it’s always fun to see demonstrations of how easy newer internet of things products are to hack. It is too common to see these cool new products are rushed to shelves without properly adding/testing their security.


  5. Information Security is absolutely crucial when it comes to IoT devices, especially in education. I’m always trying to stay up-to-date on firmware updates on my home technology and the latest best practices. My university is all over it as well. In the past year, they’ve revamped several of our policies and rolled out Two-Factor Authentication on several key applications. Whenever we adopt a new cloud-based technology, it also has to go through a rigorous 300+ question security assessment before it can be used.


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