Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.
To start of, I feel a definition of “The Internet of Things” is necessary. If you are like me, you have no idea what this phrase means. According to The Guardian, “At its core, IoT is simple: it’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other” (Kobie, 2015). So, what’s that got to do with education? There are a rising number of students with smart phones, tablets, laptops, and smart watches in schools, as well as schools using systems like Google Documents that allow for sharing and collaborating of documents. But, how will IoT change the way we teach and learn? Business Insider UK gives examples of student benefits, such as e-learning and enhanced access to information, organization benefits, such as campus safety and better organization of school resources, and teacher benefits of creating “smart lesson plans”, quicker assessments, and thus the ability to work one-on-one with students during time that had traditionally been spent on grading (Meola, 2016). The benefit of using IoT is the ability to gather, manage, and analyze large amounts of data. It is this information that will enable teachers, administrators, and schools to improve students’ learning experiences by helping them to make more informed decisions (Zebra).
As a middle and high school teacher, I think that it would be great if there was a way to gauge how much time a student spent reading a page in a book, or doing specific homework assignments. It would be wonderful if MS and HS students didn’t need to do homework, but with ever increasing texts and writing assignments it isn’t realistic to think that they won’t have homework. But how do we make sure that students working well? Too often I hear that a student spends hours doing homework and it makes me wonder what they are actually doing. Are they doing homework that long? Do they know how to organize their time? Are they maximizing their time? Is the student actually reading every page of the assigned book? Are they taking too long on each page and need a different book or help decoding words? How do we know that a student wrote their own work?
All these questions make me want to create a program or device that could give more information to a teacher about what a student is doing at home. It would be wonderful if there was a device that could connect to any book. The student could type in some information or the device could scan the title or bar code to know what the student was reading. It could then read the page number of the page the student starts reading at. Then each time the student turns the page, the device would make a note. It could then tell the teacher how long the student read overall, as well as how much time was spent on each page. This would be valuable for the teacher because: 1. They would know if they student actually read the book, 2. If a student read the pages really fast they could check for understanding and either change to a more difficult text or have a conversation about quality reading using strategies, and 3. If a student is taking too long on each page, then the student may need more assistance.
It would also be great if there was something like a document camera that saved images of the student writing at different intervals or there could be digital paper that stores the final writing. The document camera could be used for any writing assignment. It could be simply writing or it could be filling out graphical organizers and worksheets. It would take pictures at given intervals, in order for the teacher to see how long different parts took. The digital paper could keep track of editing/revising, time spent on writing, and areas of pausing.
All of the above devices would store data either on the device or in the cloud, which could then be sent either directly to the teacher’s account or be downloaded the next class. I personally would like it to be a file sent through the cloud. It would be great if it went into a dashboard of some sort, maybe connected directly to the assignment on my calendar or in my gradebook. That way I would have the data collected of them doing the work, as well as their performance mark.
How the internet of things is transforming education. (n.d.) Zebra Education Profile. Retrieved from http://www.zatar.com/sites/default/files/content/resources/Zebra_Education-Profile.pdf
Kobie, N. (2015, May 06). What is the internet of things? The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google
Meola, A. (2016, December 20). How IoT in education is changing the way we learn. Business Insider UK. Retrieved from http://uk.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-education-2016-9?r=US&IR=T