What can the IOT do for the education/research sector

Thank you all for the many great ideas posted on our Internet of Things (IOT) blog.  These ideas have been categorised and discussed with interested parties from all over the world.  We are however, still a little unclear about what HEAnet can offer in terms of IOT value to our clients.

IOT is a fast evolving area of interest for the ICT environment. The market trends that are driving it are: ubiquitous connectivity, wide spread adoption of IP-based networking, computing economics, miniaturisation, advances in data analytics and the rise of cloud computing.

IOT is not only about devices, it covers everything from collecting to connecting and transforming data. Furthermore, collecting isn’t limited to the physical world it can also be done virtually through messages and log files. It is important therefore, that in this new environment we do not forget the human: at present innumerous devices, such as smartphones, record and store data about humans (through for instance smartphones).

Taking all this into consideration, we have identified a number of possible areas of interest for HEAnet clients:

  1. Raising awareness of Ireland’s IOT curriculum agenda;
  2. Determining how IOT can be used in pedagogical processes;
  3. Initiating IOT projects to support “the smart campus/organisation”;
  4. Stimulating IOT research to support all of the above; and
  5. Supporting IOT initiatives as part of HEAnet ICT shared services.

During discussions with the aforementioned interested parties (clients, researchers, lectures, industry and other NRENs (National Research & Education Networks)) a number of possible collaborative activities were tabled, to:

  • Provide guidelines to handle the management and sustainability of the proliferation of (unmaintained/unmanaged) Bring Your Own Device (BYODs) and Bring Your Own Everything (BYOXs);
  • Focus support around network features, maintenance and cyber security for Building Management Systems (BMSs);
  • Develop systems (including analytics) around student retention;
  • Enable and support students, in using IOT devices as part of their curriculum;
  • Gain knowledge and skills on the use of cloud services in the IOT environment;
  • Continue to raise awareness on the security and privacy aspects of IOT;
  • Provide a detection and mitigation system around IOT and cyber security;
  • Broker important services around IOT e.g.: wireless access, analytics tools, IOT cloud catalogue (plus skills); and
  • Provision HEAnet services to support IOT related research/education.

While these collaborative activities are “would like to have’s” rather than concrete requests for coordinated action; a real aggregated direction still remains to be identified.

As is the case with all emerging technologies, a longer term approach needs to be taken; while we move slowly towards recognising the need for cooperation on aggregation, standardisation and the exchange of ideas.

So, the question is – as HEAnet clients – which of the above areas of interest and collaborative activities do you think we should focus on?

In addition to the blog, we are holding a BOF (Birds of a Feather/informal discussion group) session at our HEAnet National Conference 2016: (BOF session 17:30 – 18:30 Thu 10 Nov).

Please come and join the conversation: “What can the IOT do for the education/research sector” – all are welcome!

Thank you for your continued contributions to this IOT blog.


  1. A few good presentations around IOT curriculum at three American institutes: http://bit.ly/2nSH8GR

    (the title is ‘IoT pedagogy’, but they are not about using IOT in the pedagogical/teaching methods, so I refer to it as ‘IOT curriculum’)

  2. Seeing the recent DDOS attacks using IOT devices these statistics can be of interest:
    · 6 minutes – average time for an IoT device to be attacked & infected w/malware once exposed to the internet
    . IoT devices are probed by attackers 800 times/hour
    · Average 400 login attempts per device everyday
    This comes from this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/17/iot_device_exploitation/?mt=1476801822229

    So what should and can we as a sector do against these attacks?

    All the best,