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OU expands Cisco computing courses on OpenLearn

Updating your smartphone is one thing, but getting to grips with how the Internet of Everything will change lives across the globe, is no longer something only computer programmers can worry about.
With more data, people and processes coming online, the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the online, networked connection of devices and processes – is more relevant than ever. As more industries and people change the way they work thanks to technology and the internet, the result is frequently a challenge to keep pace.

Technology skills are in great demand across the globe and vital to economic growth and a new, free, online course enables newcomers and would-be tech students to ‘try before they buy’ formal education and get abreast of the big changes facing the world.

The Open University has partnered with Cisco to run the short course Introduction of Internet of Everything on its free learning site, OpenLearn.

With 15 hours of free study material and downloadable software, the course will teach both theory and practical applications, meaning that students can apply what they learn straightaway in their workplace. It’s completely flexible – the course can be started at any time, and there’s no formal timetable which means people can work through the materials at their own pace. On completion, students will be able to configure devices to support the IoE, and have an understanding of the process of modelling and prototyping in the IoE.

Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in Networking, is leading the partnership for The Open University and said: “From the UK to the US and from South Africa to Siberia, there’s a dire need to educate and train more people to become computer programmers but also to bring newcomers up to speed and give them a working knowledge of how networks operate."

“With technologies like Amazon Echo and Fitbit becoming everyday items, they can be full participants in a world that is ever more connected. Enabling us to connect kitchen appliances, our heating systems and our social networks - giving greater scope for sophisticated remote access. I think this free, introductory course gives as many people as possible a pathway to understanding the exciting revolution, that is the Internet of Everything."

He added that as a nation the UK will fail to make the impact it should do on the future global economy unless increasing numbers of students take STEM subjects at school and university, or go on to become apprentices in STEM-related industries.

The free course will:
· explain the impact of the internet of everything (IoE)
· explain the interactions between people, process, data, and things that form the IoE
· configure networked devices and applications to support a given IoE implementation.
· explain the benefits and challenges of the IoE
· explain modelling and prototyping in the IoE
· allow participants to learn the basic principles of internet technologies