Nest thermostat
A locally installed Nest.

The Nest thermostat is an amazing piece of tech–finally a thermostat that monitors you so you don’t have to reprogram it.  The device is menu-driven through a simple twist/press interface and will allow remote configuration on a tablet, phone, or through a web browser.

Although we have highly programmable thermostats at home, the Nest can monitor me.  So, when there are disruptions to the program, the Nest notices.

The Nest thermostat has been around now for awhile.  In fact, used 2nd generation versions of the Nest can be found easily for under $200.  Why so high?  Because Nest (now owned by Google) continues to push software updates to older hardware.

This is the best example of modern #Android tech I’ve ever seen for general proliferation.  We should be teaching students how to use software/hardware like this for general.  Why?  Here’s what I think:

  1. Programming is a powerful skill.  In an era of dearth of computer scientists, the need for competent programming is greater than ever.
  2. Android is free.  Anyone can grab the OS but not anyone can wield it.  This software is invading every aspect of our life (watches, phones, thermostats, etc.) and will continue to do so.
  3. The world of optimizing efficiency and automated processes in our homes, commutes, and work lives is just beginning.  Thermostats today, microwaves and showers tomorrow.
  4. From a “can you a earn a living with this degree” perspective, we should embrace that the 21st century is that of the entrepreneur.   Teaching out students to be modern-day interpretations of Leonardo Da Vinci only seems wise–if it can be taught.

Conclusion

Students, if you’re reading this, learn to program.  Python is an easy language and you can learn to program in it at sites like Grok Learning.  Colleagues, if you’re reading this site, let’s begin a process of teaching out students to be dreamers with a hint of the practical.  Our world is going to change and we should poise our students to be ready to take advantage of that change.

This is the best example of modern #Android tech I’ve ever seen for general proliferation.  We should…
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