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Keep a Watch on Wearables

by David Nield

The Guardian

Article excerpt

Wearable technology in the classroom: what's available and what does it do?

The terracotta brickwork of the Great Wall of China transfixes a group of students, who reach out to touch the stone in front of them. But these children are not in east Asia. Instead, they’ve been magically transported to the historic monument by a virtual reality (VR) headset.

Our take

Wearable Technology Wows, But Is That Enough?

The image from this article shows a group of students peering into what might remind some baby boomers of the old View-Masters that brought images seemingly “to life.” But, new wearable technologies have far surpassed the functionality of these childhood toys, even though the production value of some (like Google’s recently released Expedition) doesn’t seem that “high tech.” What does the advent of wearable technology mean in the classroom?

Wearable technology—from headsets, to fitness trackers and smart watches—offer a variety of options for teachers to make lessons more personal and to allow students to more actively engage in lessons and learning materials. Like any form of instruction, though, the use of this technology needs to be closely aligned with desired outcomes and built into curricula with purpose beyond the “wow” factor.