What is Wearable Technology?


Wearable technology refers to devices that can be worn by users, taking the form of an accessory such as jewelry, sunglasses, a backpack, 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, social media. There are even new classes of devices that are seamlessly integrated with a user’s everyday life and movements. Google's “Project Glass” was one of the earliest examples, and enabled a user to see information about their surroundings displayed in front of them. Smart watches are becoming commonplace, allowing users to check emails and perform other productive tasks through a tiny interface. A rapidly growing category of wearable technology takes advantage of the burgeoning interest in the “quantified self.” The Jawbone UP and Fitbit bracelets are two examples that track how you eat, sleep, and move. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health. 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?

  • This technology may be at its simplest level be available to assist students with the remembering of things be it appointments, lesson times and reminders ie due dates. At the other end of the spectrum ,as the technology gets more sophisticated, it use for the gathering of data to allow students to make meaning from (capture work examples) or create content (video an experiment for a science practical report). - steven.knipe864 steven.knipe864 Feb 20, 2015
  • Have seen it used well for classroom management also - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
  • Any simple technology that is readily available, relatively inexpensive and collects and displays data can be incorporated into learning activities and assessment tasks. These devices can be used to provide students with opportunities for authentic activities that are aligned with individual real data. Students can then have different data sets and this always reduces standardised patterns of learning and standardised responses to assessment tasks. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 26, 2015
  • This technology needs to be considered with personalised learning. The devices have the potential to provide 'feedback as feed-forward' for the learner. - mike.keppell mike.keppell Feb 26, 2015
wearable digital fabrics, it'll appeal to the fashionata, staff and students alike (count me in) (send your essay to my skirt), and young people, make your own digital hair slide, cmon people think wow with this! - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • We will see this technology being pushed further and further as the tech improves. The smart watch market is about to explode. I agree with Steven above at it most simple managing time, getting notifications etc... will add students to manage their time etc... As processing power and tech improves so will the potential of the wearables. Many runners already wear their phones. - ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015
  • Wearable fitness bracelets are being incorporated into training programs for personal trainers in the VET sector and POV type video recorders have been used for some time to record training or capture workplace evidence. - stephan.ridgway stephan.ridgway Mar 1, 2015
  • Google Glass may have disappeared for now but something else will take its place. The wearables we have seen thus far have been fairly simple but are undoubtedly about to increase in sophistication. Augmented reality overlays could give just-in-time information for students across a range of disciplines including history, engineering and the sciences. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015

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

  • Thoughts about the collection and ownership of the data that wearables can produce - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
  • another response here
  • feedback potential of the devices. The ability to empower learners with data that they can act on - mike.keppell mike.keppell Feb 26, 2015
  • Data management and storage... where does that data live and how are the analytics used to add meaning to wearers life/study - ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015
  • Privacy is a significant issue with regard to embedded devices which transmit live real time data - stephan.ridgway stephan.ridgway Mar 1, 2015
  • Safety - there was always an issue with visual overlays of devices such as Google Glass. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015

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

  • Appropriate use of technology in an educational setting will obviously be a major impact. - steven.knipe864 steven.knipe864 Feb 20, 2015
  • another response here
  • I believe this technology will be the single biggest game changer in providing feedback to learner and teachers - mike.keppell mike.keppell Feb 26, 2015, agree but how exactly? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • if the data from the wearable can help students to solve problems; make decisions; manage their learning there is great potential. Currently it is more about quantifying health stats. Potential is their. The wearables I use collect data and provide basic data which is augmented with apps. It is likely that this will be the way wearables work for some time - ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015
  • Has potentially huge impacts in some areas ie fitness and health. I could also have implications for authenticating the identity of students in assessments for verifying has performed a task in a specific environment. - stephan.ridgway stephan.ridgway Mar 1, 2015

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

  • Pebble seeded a bunch of smart watches to some uni's in the US but I've not been able to track down more than one location and never heard back from them - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
  • Will hopefully run a smart watch trial in ESL and vocational education in Australia this year - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015

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