The Internet of Learning Things

Brent Schlenker, Corporate eLearning Strategies, Development, Jan 10, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I think the key think to keep in mind when thinking about 'the internet of learning things' is that the valuable role played by these things is to provide feedback; it is this feedback that shapes learning and behaviour. A simple (even simplistic) example: one of the items pictured above is a WiFi body scale (that's like a scale, but it also measures things like pulse and BMI using foot sensors - I have a (non-WiFi) one at home). The idea of a scale is that if you know what you weigh, you become more responsible. But of course it's easy to obsess on each day's weight, and lose track of trends. A WiFi scale plots your daily information into longer term graphs allowing you to judge the overall impact of behaviour choices. Yes, you could enter the data manually (and I do) but it's a lot easier if the scale does it for you, and you can start collecting a lot more data. I think the personal health appliance industry will be huge, with personal learning appliances right after that.
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