Penn State Connects Students to the Internet of Things - AvNetwork.com

Penn State Connects Students to the Internet of Things

Author:
Publish date:

To foster student creativity, inventiveness, and the “maker mindset,” Penn State University is opening a new exploration lab in partnership with littleBits, a New York-based startup that empowers everyone to create inventions with electronic building blocks.

The University, which educates nearly 100,000 students each year in more than 160 baccalaureate degree programs and more than 160 graduate degree programs, will use the littleBits building blocks to create custom circuits. The result? Students can learn, experiment, prototype, and tinker. littleBits says that its inventions create can solve real-world problems and allow creators to connect objects to the Internet of Things, a network of physical smart devices that collect and exchange data.

"The goal of this new space is to inspire students to develop research, invoke entrepreneurship, and explore new ideas through creative coursework," said Kyle Bowen, director of Education Technology Services within Penn State Information Technology Services. “The exploration lab will enable faculty from many areas to include creative design problems within their courses. It’s an opportunity to assign invention as homework.”

New innovative hub on campus 
The new Invention Studio will be housed within the Penn State Knowledge Commons and is available to all Penn State students, faculty, and staff.

“Penn State understands that to be successful in the 21st century, education must encompass not just book learning but also environments that facilitate hands-on experiences and foster curiosity and creative confidence,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. “We are honored that such a prestigious institution recognizes the ways in which littleBits can provide all of those things, and has chosen to make our platform of electronic building blocks an integral part of their efforts.” 

D
ialing into the fun of creation 
For faculty, using the littleBits technology available in the exploration lab can enhance the curriculum with real-world, hands-on experience. littleBits believes that researchers can be inspired to become entrepreneurs, and to implement new methods, develop products, and explore new ideas.

Scott McDonald, associate professor of education and director of the Krause Innovation Studio at Penn State, explained several ways in which the use of a technology like littleBits could impact teaching and learning. 


“It brings me back to tinkering when I was a kid,” McDonald said.


Penn State University's main campus in State College

Image placeholder title

“Taking things apart as much as putting them together was so much fun, and also helps you better understand your world. I think tools like littleBits can help students see that a lot of the world around them is designed and can be understood, and one of the ways to understand it is to take it apart. I also think we need more opportunities for people to tinker and build things, as building is a natural human need and it also leads to better understanding the world around us.”

McDonald noted, “Since I teach science teachers, I mostly think about how to help them think about using tools like littleBits in their own practice with K-12 students. I could see asking my students to design lessons which help engage students with an engineering design problem where they need to use littleBits as part of the solution and also have to be able to explain the underlying science.”

“I think we are just scratching the surface on what learning opportunities can be created by setting problems for students and then giving them tools to design and build solutions to those problems,” McDonald added.

This partnership of Penn State Information Technology Services with littleBits is the first of several; additional collaborations are in the works, according to the company.

INFO

http://www.psu.edu
http://littlebits.cc

Related

Image placeholder title

Vaddio Cameras Connect Kansas State Campuses

Minneapolis, MN--Economic development officials say the Animal Health Corridor, which stretches between Columbia, MO, and Manhattan, KS, accounts for 32 percent of the $19 billion global animal health industry. Johnson County residents voted to tax themselves and create the “Research Triangle Initiative” to help drive

Arrive Systems Powers The Internet of AV Things

Leveraging the holistic design of Arrives’ OnePoint network management platform, a universe of AV things can now seamlessly function with third party displays, control processors, video codecs, routing and switching, and audio integrated with a universal control interface, which can be delivered on mainstream device platforms.

Danley Jericho Horns Blow Penn State's Stadium

The Penn State Nittany Lions play all of their home games at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. A recent off-season upgrade to high-definition LED scoreboards inspired a parallel upgrade to a new high-definition sound system that relies on Danley Sound Labs Jericho Horns to throw sound from the south end zone clear across to the north end zone.

Image placeholder title

What is the Internet of Things to AV?

Some people believe the Internet of Things (IoT) is new. While it may be a new concept to the audiovisual industry, this phenomenon began in 1993 when students at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications unleashed the first web browser interface.