Week 5: Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.

I have never heard the term Internet of Things (IoT), but it is definitely an emerging technology.  Kobie defines it as connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other. (2015)  I was amazed at the reach of IoT devices.  Here is a graphic created by CB Insights of nine main categories driving the future of startups for IoT.


As you can see there are a variety of categories where IoT is evident.  IoT has attracted over $7 BILLION in deals since 2010.  (CB Insights, 2015)  It’s huge.  Where is the education category?  Interesting to see its absence.  I suppose it’s buried in other categories like Infrastructure and Sensors, UAV/Drone, and Wearables.

Can we use IoT in education?  Here are two examples from the University of Wisconson-Madison.  Students control quadcopters with hand movements.  Sensors are placed on forearms to detect muscle movement, and based on those movements, you control the quadcopter.  The School of Veterinary Medicine records operations for students to view as they learn their trade. They get valuable knowledge about anatomy and procedural practices. (Forbes, 2015)

To take a glimpse into what school could be like with IoT, read what Meyers describes as a future classroom.  Scary stuff, but it does create more dynamic interventions, advanced classroom techniques, and a modified role for teachers to focus on individual students.  (Meyers, 2014)  I suppose we could argue the issue of privacy for some IoT devices, but if it enhances the educational process, why not incorporate it as long as students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community (all stakeholders) are cognizant of attending such a school.

Now to my design…

I have always wanted to be able to have students write mathematical expressions, show work, solve problems, and submit assignments and assessments electronically, by transforming handwriting to text/graphics.  There are a few apps that do this, with limitations.  You can write a mathematical expression to perform a calculation (MyScript Calculator, MyScript Mathpad) Mathpad allows you to export the expression and use it in a document platform.  You should be able to use a tablet, or sensor pad, along with a stylus pen to accomplish this.  I want a fully functional system where you are replacing paper/pencil work.  Well, while we are at it, rid ourselves of physical textbooks, just use electronic texts where there is full capability of interaction and creation/editing.

At this moment, it is possible to incorporate all of what I want into my design, it’s just in fragments here and there (not that easy to integrate and use), and not in an All-in-One package.  I would like to use the capabilities of handwriting recognition technology, media interaction, graphics/imaging technology, voice recognition technology, and collaborative interactions to have students submit assignments/assessments.  And to complete the cycle, a system would grade the work and assign a grade.  Is that too much to ask for?  I can then focus on individual students needs and interventions (well maybe the system will help with that part).  True individualized learning.  When this happens, only then will I be a “teacher as facilitator.”

The tablet and pen system can be called “The Infinity System”. (just Googled that phrase, it’s already being used in construction, darn)  Well, “The Scarzella System” then.

(It’s a work in progress…)



Kobie, N. (2015). What is the internet of things? The Guardian. Retrieved from

Unknown author. (2015). Samsung BusinessVoice: Internet Of Things 101: Inside The Latest Trend In Higher Education. . Forbes. Retrieved from

Meyers, M. (2014). Can the Internet of Things make education more student focused?
Gov2020. Retrieved from http://government-2020.dupress.com/can-internet-things-make-education-student-focused/

CB INSIGHTS. (2015). Rewiring Industries: 100 IoT Startups Disrupting Auto, Healthcare, Energy, And More. [blog posting]. Retrieved from https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/iot-market-map-and-company-list/

9 thoughts on “Week 5: Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.

  1. I love your design. I have always felt that with technology we wold be getting away from handwriting. Having a device that turns your handwriting into typed form is so cool. We will still be able to teach handwriting without stepping away from the technology.


  2. Gerald,

    Wow, that IoT Market Map is an amazing visual of just how broadly applied the Internet of Things really is (wearables, connected home, IoT infrastructure & sensors, smart utilities & energy, retail, UAV / Drone, Connected car & Fleet, healthcare and industrial). I would conclude from this visual map alone that we need to embrace this world and harness pieces of it by embedding it into our instruction! It is interesting that there is not a separate category for education.

    Since you mentioned veterinary medicine recording operations, I am thinking that we could use a headset GoPro to record moose or seal meat preparation—the video segments could include an introduction regarding our thankfulness for the provision and respect for the animal by using each part (culture), another segment for naming the anatomy parts so students may later compare and contrast these to different mammals, and more.

    MyScript Math Pad looks like an excellent example of how Genevieve’s time saving device could be used to translate AIMS Web math tests, time them, and calculate the score. Thank you for sharing—I went to http://myscript.com This looks awesome!

    I have heard from other math teachers about how much time they spend checking math work. We do have the technology for all of this—your All-in-One Design exactly suits the needs. There is always plenty for the teacher to do, even if the computer individualizes lessons for students. You could turn your class into a math applications lab for small groups of students while other groups work on their All-in-One textbook, math iPad.



  3. Thanks for adding the diagram of all the IOT that are already out there. It is funny that education is not a category. I totally agree with you that what we need is a way to connect all of the devices to one reporting program. I would love to find a program that could grade written math problems. I think as text conversion programs get better this could happen. There are so many symbols and algorithms needed for math this may be a while off.


  4. I really like the idea of replacing paper and pencil in an older classroom, at least for quick warm ups and immediate feedback. There is an app I have on my Samsung Tablet just called Whiteboard that I found out about after I attended ASTE. I am sure there is a way to have the students use this type of set up and send it somewhere to at least get you started until your device becomes a staple in the classroom.


  5. Gerald, Math seems like a great subject area to start something like this–a program-graded assignments. I’m still a little bit skeptical about this, because one benefit to grading the work is seeing where/how students make a mistake so we can differentiate our instruction for them. I wonder if your device could give the teacher a report that way. That would be pretty cool!
    I like your idea of a paper-less classroom using the tablet and stylus instead…along with textbooks available on there. I had a similar idea reaching down to 2nd grade!


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