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Community Contributor

Use of Wearables to Enhance the Student Educational Experience

Something I am thinking increasingly about is how to use wearables to enhance the student educational experience. The projected growth rate is stunning: by 2019, they are expected to have a five year compounded projected annual growth rate of over 45%. While I and many others are patiently waiting for Instructure to release their Apple Watch app, I know from my MBA studies at a school that uses Blackboard, that BB already has an app. I like the fact that I get notifications on my Apple Watch of announcements and when an assignment has been graded. I dream of the day when I can better utilize it in my studies to better interact with fellow students.

My questions:

* How are others using wearables to enhance the student educational experience?

* Has anybody found a way to make polling or brief quizzes work on wearables? I did some brief searching and couldn't find a way to do it.

I'd enjoy hearing others big picture thoughts on this.


3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach


This is definitely an area of interest for me and the team I worked with. I still haven't found a useful and scalable way to incorporate wearables in education that can't  be done already with the traditional smart phone. I wouldn't confuse that with the potential. I think when (or if) wearables reach a critical mass, then there will be more utility. Right now I feel like 90 percent of the smart watch functions are notifications and that apps on watchOS and Android Wear are just not very useful.

Here a few ideas for how it might be used in the classroom:

-Randomly selecting students to participate

-Polls and Quizzes

-Using the geolocation features to enhance a tour or field trip

-Using the censors (like heart rate) to understand how activity can effect the body

-Attendance (GPS, etc)

Like I said before, most of these can all be accomplished by current smartphones. Also, the majority of smart watches require a smartphone anyways.

Maybe I'm missing the bigger picture, but I'd like to know how you think they can be used in education.

Hmmmm......... just an observation, Ryan, this is the first time in print that I have seen smart phones referred to as "Traditional".

All online educators, whether they like it or not, teach in a "Bring-your-own-device" environment. Schools have tried to control this phenomenon through various expensive mobile initiatives, but most have had to abandon those initiatives after being smacked upside the head with reality.

So....... I say, prepare for the inevitable. When we teach using technology, and we have since the first cave clan wise man drew in ground with a stick, we must be prepared for the inevitability of technological change. I'm old enough to remember when teachers challenged the use of that new-fangled invention, the textbook, because they felt it would replace them as the sage-on-the-stage because students could now look everything up in one of them nasty book thingys.Smiley Wink

I believe the smart-watch app will occur as a natural progression of the smart-phone app (as our writer above suggest, Bb is already doing it).