What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology technology refers to computer-based devices that can be worn by users, taking the form of an accessory such as jewelry, eyewear, or even actual items of clothing such as shoes or a jacket. The benefit of wearable technology is that it can conveniently integrate tools that track sleep, movement, location, and social media interactions, or, in the case of Oculus Rift and similar gear, it can enable virtual reality. There are even new classes of devices that are seamlessly integrated with a user’s everyday life and movements. Over the couple years, Google Glass has been one of the most heavily discussed wearables, enabling users to see information about their surroundings displayed in front of them. Smartwatches from Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Pebble are already allowing users to check emails and perform other productive tasks through a tiny interface. Thanks to the quantified self movement, today’s wearables not only track where a person goes, what they do, and how much time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations are and when those can be accomplished.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • As schools in Australia move to adopt the newly endorsed Technologies curriculum compulsory for students from Foundation to Year 8 and optional for years 9 and 10, the opportunity to engage students in a STEM/STEAM (A being the Arts) project/ activity that is relevant becomes more important. http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/introduction. Wearable technologies fulfils a number of achievements in computational, design and creative thinking. - peter.lelong peter.lelong Mar 30, 2016
  • "Wearable technology" can apply to everything from VR headsets to smartglasses to smartwatches, so it's a bit hard to answer this question.- len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 11, 2016 http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/jul/28/wearable-technology-classroom-virtual-reality
    Since we have separate topics for Virtual and Augmented Reality, I'll focus on smartwatches, although I've "flirted" with cool stuff like the Arduino Lilypad. We're still fighting the can-we-use-cellphones battle (*sigh*), but weirdly enough, no one even raises an eyebrow about using smartwatches.http://www.pocketables.com/2013/04/smartwatches-can-potentially-be-very-useful-in-education.html We've got our PE teacher excited about using FitBits with students...maybe they will be part of a physical fitness program for teachers as well. The overall idea is to tie together academic performance and physical/mental factors, e.g., Exam Meditation. Hey, don't laugh, CIEs are stressful for students! ;)
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/29/oral-roberts-university-fitibit-students-physical-fitness-freshman-15 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016
  • - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 21, 2016As more wearable technology becomes available, it can be a great way to get kids curious about exploring how they work and build their own. Working with tiny circuits and conductive threads, there are many ways you can go with ideas generated by wearable technologies, such as the fashion of the future studio at NuVu for example. https://cambridge.nuvustudio.com
  • In agreement with the comments above, I see the wearables techology moving forward in step with the Maker and 3D printer technologies. Just as a single student device may make an educational experience innovative for a student, the real impact comes when the holistic education environment includes multiple student devices, teacher devices, smartboards, digital curriculum and assessments, policies that enable full utilization of the learning experiences away from the traditional models. With wearables (& the others) not only is there access to new data or information, but the opportunities for STEM through coding are possible. http://iq.intel.com/jewelbots-inspires-girls-into-stem-with-programmable-wearables/?_topic=fashion - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 22, 2016
  • I think the wearable revolution will move beyond tracking and mobility to customized learning and data based instruction. Wearable technology will give us metrics and supplemental information on student performance, capacity, engagement, and interest that will allow for a greater personalization of learning. However, this will come in wearables 2.0 after we move beyond fitbits, watches, and occulus rift. There need to be seamless wearables that track and deliver data.- matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The importance of engaing young girls and women into this particular area of digital technologies using. Examples from youtube are abundant https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxrp2coE9wRrnlOO3V3UmdQ of the work that can be done in wearable technologies that would appeal to young women and to young men also one would hope.- peter.lelong peter.lelong Mar 30, 2016 I agree!- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 21, 2016
  • Needs a mention of connecting physical/mental factors with academic performance, in the case of devices like FitBits and similar "smartwatch" devices. Otherwise, a smartwatch is just a little tablet. ;) - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016
  • I agree with the comments above. If anything is missing its the opportunity for the STEM/coding learning strategies - not just access to new forms of information or data management. For the general population the reference above to, ..."wearables not only track where a person goes,..." is a common use. For school children, this issue must be addressed due to safety & privacy issues. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 22, 2016
  • I think there needs to be some mention about community development, where wearables recognize others wearing technology and responds in some way. This offers potential for group work or tracked projects.- matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Excellent means of progressing computational and systems thinking in students - peter.lelong peter.lelong Mar 30, 2016
  • Think I covered this in (1) above, but just in case...picture students (and teachers) being able to improve their performance by being aware of physical/mental factors: heartrate, blood pressure, etc. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016 Agree- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 8, 2016 - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 9, 2016 - dsilva dsilva Apr 9, 2016- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 21, 2016
  • "Companies like Oculus Rift, Sony and Google have affordable headsets coming to the mass market, while companies like Vrse, Digital Domain, Oculus Story Studio and RYOT have started producing content." We need to begin thinking how we will make this part of our curriculum....the way we did the Internet, YouTube, laptops/mobile devices, etc. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 9, 2016- len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 11, 2016
  • A way to attract girls by working with intelligent clothing and arts (and boys as well hopefully).- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 21, 2016
  • I too believe the application to "computational thinking" is possible with wearables, but would expand these opportunites with the ability for students to engage in applicable skills in creativity, creation, and design, in addition to technical aptitude. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 22, 2016
  • Data modeling to identify preference, ability, and capacity. This can be done by school sponsored tracking systems or by students themselves if given access to the data produced by wearables.- matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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