The Internet of Things (IoT) poses the question: How do we get the youth, a generation raised on smart devices, to not only effectively engage with IoT but also understand how it works to better prepare them for the imminent succession of technology?

Acer Africa hopes to make this technology available to everyone with bring your own cloud (BYOC).

The Acer CloudProfessor is the culmination of 40 years of effort to bring together hardware, software, and service into one transportable device. CloudProfessor is aimed at making technology accessible to everyone and moreover educating the current generation on how to code and use sensors and motors to build a digital solution for everyday problems.

More and more countries are adopting computer programming as part of its school curricula as an increasing number of jobs in the future will require a basic skill level in ICT.

“With CloudProfessor, we are able to give everyone the opportunity to see how easy it can be to design the next great innovation by combining actual sensors and motors and then choosing between a variety of programming languages, including JavaScript, as well as Blockly, to get their innovation programmed and working. This provides younger learners with the building and visual interface they need to start innovating in the new Internet of Things era,” says Glenn du Toit, Acer BYOC digital business development.

The solution is made for implementation in the education system to encourage and allow both learners and teachers to create solutions for next generation. Using the CloudProfessor an individual can develop an application that turns lights on at home when they are not in, which allows for convenience and safety.

“Moreover, the device can build a full industrial irrigation system to be used on a farm. It’s a tool that allows hands-on experience, which promotes diverse experiences and encourages professional multi-industry integration through all the generations.”

Acer, in conjunction with CloudClub.Africa are using the CloudProfessor with the University of Johannesburg on a project to teach non-technical and non-engineering students how the digital world will integrate into their chosen field. This is where the CloudProfessor really comes into its own in making IoT easy for non-technical students.

Coding skills are in demand across a broad range of careers, not just for programmers. The ability not only to use but also to program software is often required from business people who work with data, from designers and marketers who create websites, from engineers who build products and technologies, and from scientists who conduct research.

CloudProfessor is a second-generation educational tool which is a practical and a necessary addition to education in South Africa and globally.

“CloudProfessor is a step further than simple coding and robotics. There is 40 hours of robotics lessons in both Javascript and Blockley catering to a range of age groups, by including industrial sensors and motors into the expanded lessons. However, in the process the focus shifts from simply following instructions to building a robot, to identifying a problem, then building a solution.”

How does it work?

* Build and connect all the elements received in the box.

* Download the CloudProfessor app which is customised for mobile [Andriod and iOS], tablets and the Acer Chromebook. Scan the QR code to get started.

* Once you have done this – login into your CloudProfessor app and enable your Bluetooth to pair with your CloudProfessor device.

* Download the LED 101 app to access lessons and modules on how to code and develop, the first step in your cloud and IoT education.