The internet of things

What Is “The Internet of Things”?

Have you ever become victim of an insurance company who uses demographics based on age, experience, or the car you drive to determine how much you pay for car insurance? This can be increasingly frustrating as this is, in a sense, similar to judgemental discrimination. But what other ways can they depict how much you SHOULD be paying? This is one of the many positive aspects where the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in handy.

This new generation of technology is changing the world day by day. It has the ability to connect devices with other devices in a way that has the potential to learn from human use. If people were to google the Internet of things they would get many articles using fancy words about how it works, but simply it is a network of smart devices that can send sensor information to a system that collects the information and has the ability to learn from habits, behaviors and other information, then some devices can change how they work based off of this information. Below is a great video to help explain how this network works.

This video shows how it can help save time, money, and create a safer environment for us!  The IoT can be broken down into 5 layered structures:

Internet of things-hillman av regina

The Things– are the most interacted with part of the system, this can be a smart phone, a connected watch, or even tv. These devices use recent activity, popular history and other means of giving the user an easy and comfortable experience, in the hopes that you will use the service again. But in order to be able to tell what you are doing these devices need sensors.

The Sensors are a key ingredient to improving the growing system. The sensors allow the different information to be gathered that is later used to completely the system’s purpose.

Next a Connection must be established to allow the information to travel back and forth between network and device! This can be done in many different ways, with specific needs varying for almost every device.

Once the gathered information is sent, it must be received in a Collection device. Since there are many more devices on the planet than humans, it will be impossible for a human to go through the information that is being collected, therefore a machine must be properly cerated and programmed in order to successfully and efficiently sort the information where then the information processed.

To Learn the information in a beneficial way, the software must be custom to analyse properly. This is usually made to learn from human behavior.

Then comes the Do, where the analysed information is turned into a useful system, usually ending with a greater sense of human behavior, which in turn creates a safer environment for us all!

Now while this information may seem like a lot to comprehend, it will soon become a common understanding as it will grow to every piece of technology created.  This mass information collection can change a lot and it will surely benefit society as a whole, if we get this system right!

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Top 10 Ted Talks

Top 10 Ted Talks On Technology

1. Abe Davis – New Video Technology that Reveals An Object’s Hidden Properties

Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. Abe Davis shows how a simple video can tell an amazing story.

2. Tony Fadell – The First Secret of Design is … Noticing

As human beings, we get used to “the way things are” really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity. Could things be better? How? In this funny, breezy talk, the man behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat shares some of his tips for noticing — and driving — change.

3. Fei-Fei Li – How We’re Teaching Computers to Understand Pictures

A fascinating talk on how difficult it really is for a computer to process and image and the impact that technology will have on society.

“Our society is more technologically advanced than ever. We send people to the moon, we make phones that talk to us or customize radio stations that can play only music we like. Yet, our most advanced machines and computers still struggle at this task. So I’m here today to give you a progress report on the latest advances in our research in computer vision, one of the most frontier and potentially revolutionary technologies in computer science.”

4. Lorrie Faith Cranor – What’s Wrong With Your Pa$$word?

A great video on something that affects all of us daily, our passwords. Sometimes the most frustrating part of your day, changing that password or remembering what you changed it to can be a job on its’ own. Still in the never ending battle of your online security.

5. Jinha Lee – Reach Into The Computer and Grab a Pixel

This talk it right out of Tony Stark’s laboratory. Described as a “gasp inducing” talk, you’re going to see what the future holds for how we interact and create 3D objects.

6. Sergey Brin – Why Google Glass?

Sergey Brin calls for a new way of seeing our relationship with our mobile computers — not hunched over a screen but meeting the world heads-up.

7. David Pogue – 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips

Just a short five minute video that you’re sure to take away a few tricks that will help you navigate the internet a little more efficiently.

8. Miguel Nicolelis – A Monkey That Controls a Robot With Its Thoughts. No, Really.

And that’s exactly what we did 10 years ago. We started with a superstar monkey called Aurora that became one of the superstars of this field. And Aurora liked to play video games. As you can see here, she likes to use a joystick, like any one of us, any of our kids, to play this game. And as a good primate, she even tries to cheat before she gets the right answer. So even before a target appears that she’s supposed to cross with the cursor that she’s controlling with this joystick, Aurora is trying to find the target, no matter where it is. And if she’s doing that, because every time she crosses that target with the little cursor, she gets a drop of Brazilian orange juice. And I can tell you, any monkey will do anything for you if you get a little drop of Brazilian orange juice. Actually any primate will do that. Think about that.

9. Mitch Resnick – Let’s Teach Kids To Code

This is what the future of education holds, making kids a part of the class. An inspiring story of what kids can do to gain a new skill in the classroom, as it turns out, a very lucrative skill, Coding.

“In a fun, demo-filled talk Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them.” 

10. Pranav Mistry – The Thrilling Potential of Sixthsense Technology

In this Ted classic, Pranav shows the future of “Sixthsense technology”.

But the most interesting thing about this particular technology is that you can carry your digital world with you wherever you go. You can start using any surface, any wall around you, as an interface. The camera is actually tracking all your gestures. Whatever you’re doing with your hands, it’s understanding that gesture.

The smart classroom-technology in Regina

The Smart Classroom Is Not Far Away, It May Be Already Here

The Connected Classroom-technology in Regina

When you walk into a classroom in 2016 you’ll notice something remarkably different then in decades previous. An almost ubiquitous movement of the smartphone has created a generation of young people who live their life with a device in hand. Like a hoard of young adults praying, their heads bent down over the illuminated screen of their iPhone. On Volleyball trips, as a coach you see how much their lives are influenced by that small device. As bad as some as us want to rid the world of Apple and Android, there seems to be no stopping of how much of our lives will be lived online.

Children have changed, how has the classroom?

Education, for the impact it has on our lives, really is under served when it comes to technology innovation. What’s the last innovation we’ve seen with technology in the classroom? Powerpoint? The overhead projector? Google Docs? Whatever it is, we haven’t gone far enough and we haven’t tried enough to push what our up and coming generation can do with the power of the internet.

There’s an ongoing struggle of “put the phones away” to “take out your phone, you need to look up_____”. We need to encourage the use of technology in the classroom and education needs to be proactive in how they’re teaching the use of technology.

Technology in the classroom will become the norm

Education needs innovation

We need people who are willing to develop the future of what a learning experience can be. Sugata Mitra, experimented with this in sub-Saharan India, he wanted to see what students could learn on their own. Essentially, what’s the limit a child could teach themselves with a simple computer. The results were incredible. Almost no limit on what children can teach each other. The example he gives was students 9-12 years old learning complex university calculus. Not only did they test “what” students could learn they also found out “how” students teach each other. Usually in pods of four to five with one person stepping up and leading the group through the learning outcome.

Pretty exciting if you think about it! The possibilities of a “smart” classroom where students can learn at their pace, as fast as they want.


It’s easy to say “they need to pay attention more!”, it’s hard to create a learning environment that grabs and holds their attention. 

When I was a kid I got in trouble a lot. I couldn’t sit still, I didn’t like colouring in the lines but the second you gave me a challenge I stepped up! We can push kids more in school, we could use technology to do this. The smart classroom movement is great, lets just ensure we’re helping our teachers keep up with the technology as well.

We like to complain about the state of education but we rarely complain about how much support or ongoing training our teachers are receiving. 


Either way the future is looking bright for more efficient technology in the classroom. Here’s another great video from Sugata Mitra on building schools in the “Cloud”.