Acellus Launches the Internet of Learning — a New Internet for Education

Today our world is under cyberattack. It’s becoming a very big, a very dangerous, and a very expensive problem. Not surprisingly, then, our schools are under cyberattack.

To protect school networks from these attacks and still provide the enrichment of digital resources, Acellus has created the Internet of Learning — a new Internet designed specifically for education that gives students access to essential information without opening the door to Internet-spawned distractions and malicious network intrusions.

A New Internet is Born

The idea for the Internet of Learning came while I was attending an MIT course on Advanced Cybersecurity taught by Dr. John Williams, one of the foremost thinkers in the field. His presentation highlighted the critical condition of the cybersecurity world now and how we need breakthrough technologies and radical new approaches because what we’ve been doing isn’t working. That’s when I envisioned a new Internet for education. If we made a separate Internet for learning, all of the people out there wanting to get into our networks wouldn’t be out there. Now, that’s a radical approach!

The conventional practice to protect our networks has been to install a “firewall” — a device in the wiring closet that filters data coming into the network, blocking anything that is malicious. This approach can keep out about 99% of the cyberattacks. However, if some device inside the network is infected and opens a communication hole through the firewall, destructive things can get in.

The difference between a firewall and the Internet of Learning is that a firewall says, “Everybody is good. We’re going to let everybody in, but if someone tries to come in that we know is bad, we’re going to block them.” The Internet of Learning has exactly the opposite strategy. We say, “We don’t trust anybody we don’t know. If you’re not a threat, tell us you’re not a threat.”

The Internet of Learning – Content

On the Internet of Learning students have available a large array of content they can access safely, and the content can be continually augmented by teachers and administrators sponsoring additional websites to be whitelisted.

What is available on the Internet of Learning? That’s partly up to you as educators. The iOL comes already set up with a large number of websites that have been whitelisted and can be accessed as normal. However, if teachers or administrators desire to add a website, all they need to do is type in the URL of the site, which will bring up a screen that says, “This site is not yet on the Internet of Learning.” They are then prompted to complete a short application form to add it. Once submitted, their query is quickly assessed, and the approved site is added to the iOL. From then on, everybody on the Internet of Learning will have access to it.

Accessing the iOL

Schools can access the Internet of Learning by installing an iOL Portal between their Internet router and their local area network, plugging the incoming Internet in on one side and the outgoing on the other side. While existing firewalls and other networking equipment continue to operate as before, the iOL Portal uses cutting edge GoldKey technology to disconnect the network from the Internet and connect it to the Internet of Learning.  All of a sudden, the whole Internet disappears, and all that is there to replace it is the Internet of Learning.

To take advantage of this new resource, schools can contact their Acellus Coordinator for information on equipment, access, and possible grant funding that may be available to deploy the Internet of Learning in schools or district-wide.