By Cait Etherington February 09, 2018
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to transform how we live, work, and learn. While many people continue to express reservations about networked devices, there is certainly reason to believe that moving forward, “things” will be increasingly networked and this includes a lot of things found in a typical school. This eLearningNews‘ feature surveys just a few ridiculous IoT products that may transform the future of education.
If you haven’t already seen or purchased a smart bin, these contraptions are essentially a garbage can with a scanner. At home, if you throw out a can of tomatoes, the bin adds the can to your next grocery list. In schools, these bins may similarly be used to replenish supplies, but there is also some fears that they will quickly take on a more sinister role. While smart bins are a great way to ensure you never run out of supplies, they may also be used to ensure that teachers aren’t burning through certain types of supplies in schools on tight budgets. Likewise, smart bins might eventually be smart enough to monitor other types of waste (e.g., the percentage of uneaten fruits and vegetables that are tossed away from unhealthy middle schoolers).
Adidas recently kicked off the smart ball revolution with by producing a soccer ball with an integrated sensor designed to detect speed, spin, strike and flight path data and instantly relay this “kick data” to a miCoach app on any coach’s or teacher’s Apple device running iOS 7 or higher. For educators, smart balls, bats, and baskets hold many potential uses. In a large and chaotic gym class, a single teacher may now be able to more easily keep track of hordes of students. Rather than simply rely on a whistle, they will be able to monitor who is doing what with data collected from smart sports equipment. It seems more likely, however, that the real winners will be coaches who are eager to help their teams refine their skills. With the Adidas miCoach ball, coaches can now track their team’s progress and potentially make smarter decisions about who to put on the front line during any game.
While not all educators are worried about eating habits, if you work in a preschool, you’ll know that teaching children how to use utensils and eat at a reasonable pace is by no means an easy task and far more difficult when you’re overseeing a dozen or so youngsters. Fortunately, in the future, preschool educators may be able to take advantage of smart fork technology. While by no means inexpensive (currently, a smart fork costs $60 on average), these curious utensils are designed to monitor and optimize how we eat. In the future, this may mean that preschoolers find themselves being gently told to eat less quickly or to make healthier choices.
Whether it’s hair or teeth that you’re worried about brushing, we are now living in an era of smart brushes. This means that moving forward, youngsters may increasingly find themselves learning personal hygiene methods with the help of a smart brush that offered advice on everything from the equality of their brush strokes to the time they spend on personal grooming. While smart hair brushes may never take off, there are already high hopes that smart tooth brushes will take off and in the future, there is reason to be believe that these brushes will not only offer feedback on our dental hygiene but also be able to identify teeth and gum problems before they become a major problem. Yes, this means that in the future, whether or not you get around to making a dentist appointment, you’re tooth brush may automatically make the appointment for you.
There is no question that a lot of bad things happen in school restrooms. Historically, restrooms, especially, in high schools have been host to everything from bullying and smoking to hair crimping and sex. As smart toilets gain popularity, however, there is finally hope that high school restrooms may finally be as carefully monitored as all the other places in our schools. While not explicitly designed to prevent teens from engaging in banned activities at school, it is certainly possible that in the future, school toilets may do more than flush. In fact, in the future, toilets may talk by relaying vital data about who is lingering too long in a stall and not for any designated purpose.