Wearable technology

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According to Wikipedia (June, 2018), “Wearable technology, wearables, fashionable technology, wearable devices, tech togs, or fashion electronics are smart electronic devices (electronic device with micro-controllers) that can be worn on the body as implants or accessories. Wearable devices such as activity trackers are best example of the Internet of Things, since "things" such as electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity are effectors that enable objects to exchange data (including data quality[5]) through the internet with a manufacturer, operator, and/or other connected devices, without requiring human intervention.”

Barfield & Caudell (2001) cited by Arguel (2018) defined wearable technology as:

  • functional and autonomous computers worn on the body,
  • able to access information,
  • freed from constraints of place and time.

Portables Technologies

In education

Wearables in Education, practices

Wearables devices commonly used in education

Teachers and Tainers perception of wearable in education

Learners perception of wearable in education

Using wearables in education, effect on learning

Tips to use wearables in education

Bower and Sturman (2015) “analysed the perceptions of 66 educators from around the world who self-rated as having a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ understanding of wearable technologies to determine the key educational affordances and issues at stake. Qualitative thematic analysis of participant perceptions, as well as relevant literature, revealed fourteen affordances of wearable technologies and thirteen issues relating to their use. These clustered together into three emergent themes; ‘pedagogical uses’, ‘educational quality’ and ‘logistical’.”. Below, we summarize a table presented by the authors:

Positive affordances

  • Pedagogical uses: In situ contextual information, Recording, Simulation, Communication, First-person view, In situ guidance, Feedback, Distribution, Gamification,
  • Educational quality: Engagement, Efficiency, Presence
  • Logistical and other implications: Hands-free access, Free up spaces

Negative affordances / issues

  • Educational quality: Distraction, Cheating, Overreliance on wearable technology, Technology before pedagogy, Familiarisation with interface, Small interfaces,
  • Logicistical and other implications: Privacy, Cost, Technical problems, Technical support, Legal issues, Development of software, Processing power.

With all of these affordances it is evident that wearable devices have the potential to facilitate a new era of learning. Possibilities include students undertaking fieldwork to provide a first-person view of their activities to their classmates; language learners receiving real-time translation scaffolding to support vocabulary acquisition; students sending data captures to video-logs in real-time; integrating augmentations into the view of students to safely perform experiments or experience remote environments; recording all learning interactions and instruction for replay and reflective reprocessing; and the teacher collecting assessment data, monitoring performance and assessing student practical work from the first-person view based on a task being performed by the whole class at once. All of this aligns with Roy Pea's (1985) vision of technology not only as an amplifier of cognition but also as a reorganiser of mental functioning that results in cultural redefinition.
- Bower & Sturman (2015)


  • Barfield W. & Caudell, T. (2001), “Basic concepts in wearable computers and augmented reality”, in W. Barfield, & T. Caudell (Eds.), Fundamentals of wearable computers and augmented reality, Mahwan, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 3-26.
  • Coffman T. & Klinger M. B. (2015, March), “Google Glass: using wearable technologies to enhance teaching and learning”, in Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), p. 1777-1780.
  • De Freitas S. & Levene M. (2003), “Evaluating the development of wearable devices, personal data assistants and the use of other mobile devices in further and higher education institutions”, JISC Technology and Standards Watch Report, (TSW030), p. 1-21.
  • Donovan, Tony O., et al. "A context aware wireless body area network (BAN)." Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, 2009. PervasiveHealth 2009. 3rd International Conference on. IEEE, 2009, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5191231/
  • Guler, Sibel Deren (2016). Crafting wearables: blending technology with fashion. New York: Apress
  • Sandall B. K. (2016), “Wearable Technology and Schools: Where are We and Where Do We Go From Here?”, Journal of Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Leadership in Education, 1(1), article 9.
  • Wu T., Dameff C. & Tully J. (2014), “Integrating Google Glass into simulation-based training: experiences and future directions”, Journal of Biomedical Graphics and Computing, 4(2), p. 49.