SC 101: Your Toaster is Watching You: Exploring a “Smarter” Society through Internet of Things

By 2020, it is projected there will be over 20 billion connected devices across our society. We can already adjust our thermostats, lock/unlock doors, and control other appliances which promise to save time, energy, and money. People are using wearable devices for fitness, health, and even entertainment. Connected automobiles help provide operational status and comfort of passengers. The number and type of connected devices continues to grow.

The benefit leans toward convenience and also a fascination with having our devices talk to each other along with its human interaction, but there are inherent risks including privacy and security issues. Do we really need to have our kitchen appliances connected to the Internet and controlled through mobile apps? How do we know if these devices are secure and how can we protect our privacy? What are opportunities for organizations and industries?

We are seeing a rapidly growing “Internet of Things” in which many of our day-to-day devices are being designed to connect to the Internet and estimated to generate over in $14 trillion in value across multiple industries over the coming decade. We will explore the history of the technology and its applications for individuals and organizations. Along the way, we will discuss its current status and future possibilities, its technological challenges, criticisms, and controversies. Our goal is to explore the Internet of Things and discuss its advantages along with its concerns from both individual and organizational perspectives.


Meet Your Professor

Director of Management Information Systems, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Todd Little, DSc

I am originally from a small town in northwest Iowa and soon will have completed 19 years at Simpson College. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa and then continued to complete my first graduate degree in higher education. After I started work at Simpson, I realized I wanted to pursue additional education in the field of information systems. I went on to complete two more graduate degrees from Dakota State University where I earned my doctorate of science degree. I now serve as an assistant professor in the field of Management Information Systems in the Department of Computer Science. I have always been a Star Wars fan, and when not on campus, I enjoy playing various multiplayer games including Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Titanfall 2 along with spending time with my family. You might even get a chance to see me wear my Jedi outfit at Halloween!


Meet Your SC Leader

Hi Everyone!

My name is Addie Brewer and I will be the SC Leader for Professor Todd Little’s Simpson Colloquium class. I will be a sophomore in the 2018-2019 school year.

A little bit about me: I am from Keokuk, Iowa. It is about 3 hours away from Simpson at the very bottom corner of Iowa. I have lived in Keokuk my entire life and went to Keokuk High School. I graduated top of my class and I was involved in Science fair, Swim team, Band, Show Choir band, and a volunteer group. In my free time, I like to play with my two cats and watch an entire season of New Girl in one setting. My favorite fast food restaurant would have to be Sonic, I love their slushes!

At Simpson, I am double majoring in Computer Science and Management Information Systems. I am not exactly sure what job I want with my majors yet. I am open to trying many different positions in the field of Computer Science. Along with my studies I am in the sorority Pi Beta Phi. Being in a sorority has made my Simpson experience so much more fun and I love all of my new sisters!

Your first year of college is going to have a lot of change and it will take a little bit of getting used to. My job is to make this change as easy as possible for you. With my help, you will feel at home at Simpson in no time! This fall will be my first semester as an SC Leader and I cannot wait to meet all of you!

If you need to contact me with any questions you may have, you can always reach me by my school email:, and feel free to add me on Facebook as well. I am looking forward to meeting you all at Summer Registration and helping you with your transition to Simpson. Go Storm!

Meet Your Writing Fellow