Technology Tuesday: The Internet of Moving Things

Just when I was beginning to get my head around teaching my students about The Internet of Things, here comes the Internet of Moving Things. 

This week, NPR's All Tech Considered aired a story about Wi-Fi enabled buses in Portgual.  Wireless routers  and fiber access points are stashed all over the city - on traffic lights, atop lampposts, etc.  Citizens stay connected as they ride in wifi enabled buses around town.  The reporter was even able to make a Skype call with streaming video!  Now, that's robust!  They pay for the service by using data collected from sensors attached to the access points to reduce other city costs. 

School districts, including our neighboring district, Huntsville City, have experimented with wifi enabled buses in the U.S., too.  I've even read about districts that park their buses in neighborhoods to act as hotspots where students don't have access to the Internet in their homes. 

There's also a movement to create completely connected cities.  For example, several years ago Chattanooga became the first "Gig City" with the city-financed fiber optic network that can transfer one gigabyte of data per second. Today, much of Chattanooga is covered by publicly available, wifi access points.  Again, the city used attached sensors to various public utilities to help offset costs with reductions to other services that are now available through remote monitoring.

While I love my rural lifestyle, these kinds of advances do make me worry a little bit about how to make sure our students aren't left behind.  That is why I am always advocating for better infrastructure for all of our schools.  


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