Government Backed Project Aims To Take Internet of Things Into Schools

Coalition pumps £800,000 into Internet of School Things initiative

Intel, the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board and a host of universities have all backed a project designed to get youngsters and their teachers effectively exploiting the Internet of Things.

The  £800,000 Internet of School Things project will see  industry and academic experts from the DISTANCE consortium  work on “ innovative methods” that teachers and students can use to create and share digital content in the educational environment.

School, education, children © Stokkete Shutterstock 2012The first part of the Internet of Things project will run for a trial period of one year and involve at least eight schools across the UK, to see how they can improve learning in various subjects.

An Internet Of Things

“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,” a statement from the group read today.

“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.

“Over the summer, DISTANCE will be developing a range of exciting apps and visualisations of data that can be collected by schools, together with comprehensive curriculum-based activities for the schools to trial in the autumn term. Following these trials, the consortium will develop comprehensive resources using the Internet of Things that can be used at scale across the UK as the project moves into its second year.”

The Internet of Things consists of various technologies that work in a “smart”, automated way, to maximise efficiency and ease of use. That it is now making its way into schools, with government backing, suggests the Coalition is keen to inculcate the right skills to exploit the technology for the economic benefit of the UK moving forward.

In March, the Coalition announced a £6.2 million competition focused on the Internet of Things, again backed by funds from the Technology Strategy Board.

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