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Intel-led group announces UK Internet of School Things project

A consortium including Intel, Xively and Science Scope has been awarded £800,000 to embark on a one-year pilot that will look at how the Internet of Things [IoT] can work in UK schools and stimulate UK business involvement.

Distance, an education and technology consortium, was awarded the funding as part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Internet of Things Demonstrator competition and will take it into eight UK schools as part of the pilot.

Their vision is that the Internet of Schools Things project will develop innovative methods for teachers and students to take a more active role in creating and sharing digital content in schools.

Schools will be encouraged to draw upon new technology based learning for their students and the plan is to see how the project can boost technology, geography and science teaching. After this, it will be rolled out to other subjects with the project founders hoping it will “incentivise UK businesses to collaborate with the education space”.

Ideas will be shared using an information hub in the cloud built and managed by consortium member Xively’s Cloud Services with a platform specifically designed for the IoT. It will give the consortium the ability to find a mix of incentives that can encourage businesses, students and educators to share certain data “for the first time”.

Distance collaborated with schools on participatory design at the close of the 2013 summer term with schools focusing on four key themes: transport, energy, weather and health.

Over the summer Distance has been working on a number of apps and visualisations of data that can be collated by schools alongside a variety of curriculum based activities to be trailed in schools once the autumn term begins.

The full list of groups that make up the Distance consortium is: 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.

Image Credit: Flickr (Jordan Hill School D&T Dept.)