The Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything embodies the concept that all things in the world can be connected in some way to the Internet.  If this were to be the case, new opportunities will be opened up for the future of Education.  Things that are unthinkable now will become feasible.  Recently, I have been working with my colleagues Dr Michelle Selinger and Ana Sepulvada to write a white paper about the Internet of Everything in the context of Education.  The paper has not been published yet but will be next month.  My colleague Ana Sepulveda posted in the Cisco Education blog about the paper,  Her post starts as follows:

“Imagine a future where education has become embedded into daily life and is no longer only associated with schools, colleges and universities; a time where people can access learning when and where they need to increase their knowledge or skills. Imagine a future where a learner can be sent information which has been contextualized to their particular immediate need. Imagine learners who can not only access pre-recorded presentations on topics of interest by experts in the field, but also invite that expert to explain a concept instantly through a live interaction.  This is the sort of future that is possible as more and more things (and people) become connected.  This information sharing capability combined with big data analysis offers the promise of an exciting and motivating learning experience for people of all ages. The new world of education will make massive use of connectivity to enable all learners to access relevant resources at the moment when there is a need for new knowledge and understanding.”

You can read the whole post here

The thing that interests me here is that if education is able to exploit the IoE there will be all sorts of new opportunities to improve education for individual learners – things that I can’t event imagine yet!.  This will start with, and already has, with every learner having continuous access to learning sources so that learning can be truly embedded into daily life.  The real meaning of “any time, any where learning” is now being realized I think.

But the real barrier to realizing the full potential for the IoE for education will I think be the attitudes of people – learners and educators alike.  Having a great resources available to everyone does not in its self lead to the benefit the resource can bring.  Adoption of technology is still not as ubiquitous as it can be.  Seems to me that before the I0E will bring the benefits it can we will need to convince people of its value and strive to encourage adoption – and that to some extent is linked to peoples comfort with and adoption of technology.

Sorry to end this post on a slightly negative note – but I am planning to write a few more posts to delve into specific potential benefits that the I0E might offer.  Watch out for publication of the paper referred to earlier this post.



Lighting up Learning – Glow

I have commented here about the YouTube service which can be use to publish videos etc. I just heard that video about an educational project that I have been working on for the last few years has been published on YouTube.

The project is now called Glow and will deliver a Scotland wide education intranet. The solution which is still under development includes a Portal, Email system, a Virtual Learning Environment, Discussion Groups, Web Conferencing (video and audio and application sharing). Eventually, the user base can include all of Scotlands pupils, teachers and other people who work to support the classroom. It is a very ambitious project which is being implemented on a scale which is big by any standards. A key feature of Glow is that it is a closed environment which is only accessible by authorised users. Pupils safety in the online environment is a number one priority so this system is definitely not like other ‘public’ on line community environments like BeBo and MySpace.

The video shows a teacher (actually one of the project educationalists) talking about the Glow system and how she uses it with her pupils. Of course this is actually simulation as the Glow service is not fully developed as yet.

You can read more about the Glow project here

Click here to view the Glow Project web site.


Click here to view the video on YouTube.

It is currently planned that Glow will be available for use starting in late August 2007. I expect that it will take some further time before it will be fully available to users throughout Scotland. Local Authorities and schools have some work to do to setup user accounts and configure their networks to facilitate access for their users. Glow can also be accessed from the home too assuming that the user has a suitable connection.

I think this is a very exciting project that has the potential to allow teachers and pupils throughout Scotland to deliver and support learning in ways that hithertoo have not been possible.