“Internet of School Things” is a £800,000 TSB-funded collaborative research project that leverages the emerging power of the next great Internet paradigm, known as the Internet of Things, to develop innovative methods for teachers and students to take a more active role in creating and sharing digital content in schools
The “Internet of School Things” is run by DISTANCE, a consortium for furthering education through advanced technologies, is made up of ScienceScope, Intel, Xively (formerly Cosm), Explorer HQ, Stakeholder Design, University of Birmingham’s Urban Climate Laboratory, UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, and The Open University Department of Computing.
DISTANCE was awarded funding for the project through the “Internet of Things Demonstrator” programme run by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency. The consortium will initially work with at least eight schools across the UK to define how the Internet of School Things can enhance learning in science and other subjects, such as technology and geography. DISTANCE’s goals are to have students and teachers measure and share data—using new technology on the emerging Internet of Things—in ways that help make learning fun, link directly to the curriculum, and ultimately inform the design of the next generation of schools. In turn, this initiative will help incentivise UK businesses to collaborate with the education space around a technology market that analysts expect to be in the trillions of dollars, while setting the conditions to better prepare children with unique skills to work within the digital economy.
Distance offers every school in the UK the ability to measure and share data in a way that helps to make science fun, links directly to the curriculum, helps to inform the design of the next generation of schools, incentivizes UK businesses to enter a market worth £500 million a year and better prepares children to work within the digital economy. We will do this by creating an information hub in the cloud using an open-source and infinitely scalable API platform. This will enable us to identify the mix of incentives required to encourage educators, students and business to share certain types of data openly for the first time. Schools piloting our ecosystem will focus on four themes – transport, energy, weather and health. The key innovation is provision of a platform and service layer to connect schools with third-party service and application providers, who can then supply internet-enabled measurement equipment and interpretation software.
DISTANCE will accomplish its goals by creating an information hub in the cloud using Xively Cloud Services™, an open and massively scalable cloud platform purpose-built for the Internet of Things. This will enable the consortium to identify the mix of incentives required to encourage educators, students and businesses to share certain types of data openly for the first time. The key innovation is the provision of a platform and service layer to connect schools with third-party service and application providers, who can then supply Internet-enabled measurement equipment and interpretation software.