Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics


This article was written on 22 Mar 2018, and is filled under Volume 13 2018, Volume 13 No 1.

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The Internet of Things (IoT)

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Technology in Education Column

by Dr Sandra Bassendowski

Dr. Sandra BassendowskiThe Technology in Education column is written by one of our CNA Centennial 100 Award Winners, Dr. Sandra Bassendowski, who is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Sandra recognized a need, and offered to write this important feature for the CJNI ñ this column is focused on how technology can be used in nursing education and by nurses in general. Sandra has been recognized by the Canadian Nurses Association, as well as the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association and the University of Saskatchewan for her inspiring, dedicated work in her educational practice.


The Internet of ThingsRecently, I was searching for a specific teaching app and I noticed a site that appeared on Google that focused on AI and IoT. I recognized the abbreviation of AI as artificial intelligence but I did not know what IoT meant. I looked it up and it means the Internet of Things. “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of” (Morgan, 2014, ¶1).  The IoT is a network of connected devices, items, and people with relationships between people-people, people-things, and things-things.

What does the IoT mean to nursing education?  Basically, I am not sure- as educators we already see a number of connecting ‘things’ in our classrooms and I believe that they will increase in type, design, connections, and number. Atzori, Lera, and Morabito (2014) suggested that IoT “…has brought the design of new generations of “smart objects” able to discover new services, start new acquaintances, exchange information, connect to external services, exploit other objects’ capabilities, and collaborate toward a common goal” (¶2). Challenges with IoT in health care and education revolve around security, loss of privacy, trust/lack of trust, and discomfort with technology (Laplante & Laplante, 2016). In my day-to-day teaching, I experience the space between the tools that I am familiar with for teaching and the new tools that leave me feeling quite unsettled. The old and the new, the traditional and the futuristic, blackboards and smart boards, Web 2.0 and 3.0, and in-class versus online and now the Internet of Things!


Laplante, P. & Laplante, N. (2016).  The Internet of Things in healthcare: Potential applications and challenges. IT Trends. IEEEXplore.


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