School and Internet of Things

At the recent OSSTF Technology Conference, I had the chance to enjoy the session “How the Internet of Things Might Look in Schools of the Future” by Ramona Meharg.  She led off her descriptor with a statistic from Cisco and I was hooked.  How might it look?

The session was interesting and engaged the audience.  Through a selection of videos, she introduced a concept and then we had a chance to talk about the implications at our individual tables.

One of the observations that our table drew, and it was acknowledged by the entire room when we brought it to the big discussion, was that all of the videos that she showed were professionally created by businesses.  None of what she showed us was created by a School District or a Ministry/Department of Education.  It leads to the question and a fear.

Are we going to allow industry to drive the future of our schools?  Where are those educators who purport to lead us in this discussion?  Do we want a future driven by forces outside of education or do we want it driven by a educators and supported by what technology can provide?

Needless to say, and somewhat comforting at a Technology conference, our humanity voice won out over something connected to the Internet in the ensuing discussion.  It shouldn’t be lost though that we all had our devices open doing various things – because we could.  My notes, for example, were stored online so that I could access them anywhere after the event.

And I wanted to.  There was one particular video that I wanted to revisit but no URL had been taken during the presentation.  But, I found it anyway.  I went to Ramona’s Twitter account where she had a link to her blog ” My Circus…My Monkeys“.  As luck would have it, her last post deal with this topic and she and a partner had created a Thinglink composed of links to videos based on an organizer.

Screenshot 2017-05-23 at 06.21.44.png

I was able to find the video that I wanted.  I decided to share the link with you because you might not have been in the room with us.  It is a nice curation on the topic.  You might want to tuck it away for reference or a provocation later.

Of course, all of this would be moot if I wasn’t connected to the internet in the first place…


Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

One thought on “School and Internet of Things”

  1. Good morning Doug!

    Thanks for the link! “I decided to share the link with you because you might not have being in the room with us.” I imagine that a good number of your readers were not only not in the room with you, but not even at the event, given that it was limited to OSSTF numbers!

    Two quick comments:

    1) Jim Cash had a notable post recently in which he directed an open letter to the Big Three EdTech companies, discussing the delicate balance educators walk as they engage with corporations in developing expertise with emerging technologies while simultaneously placing themselves in the role as champions for those companies. This is an important question for all educational leaders.

    2) Specifically with regard to the Internet of Things, there was a piece yesterday on the CBC which raised two important concerns:
    • Although it was initially reported that the WannaCry worm attacked machines that were still running Windows XP because of their attachment to legacy apps, analysis in the end showed that the greatest hit operating system was actually Windows 7. The commentator emphasized that in the rush to get Internet of things devices to market, the security for many devices is lax, and updates either difficult or not likely to be forthcoming. .
    • Just because you can connect something to the Internet, doesn’t mean that you necessarily should.

    I’ve not found a show link yet (It might have been The Current) yet, but in the meantime, here is a good bit from CBC Radio about The Internet of Things from a couple weeks back.

    “We all need to be wary of drinking kool-aid that is pressed from low-hanging fruit.”


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