Does the Apple Watch have a role in education? What about other wearables?

The big news this week is the ability to pre-order the Apple Watch. After reading the reviews and playing with it I’m not seeing any compelling reason to replace my Pebble.

But, as always, I’m wondering if it has a place in education. The use cases I’ve come up with are a pretty large stretch of the use of a watch. Most can be done just as well with a smartphone or small tablet.

On the other hand, devices like the Fitbit would be really nice to have for physical education classes.

I think wearables are the future. I think teachers are not ready for them in any way. Teachers are still trying to catch up to iPads and BYOD. I think wearables and any other technology can have a huge impact on the learning in a classroom with the right teacher at the helm. I have some big plans for the Watch in our school. I’ll let you all know more as soon as I feel like sharing. Lol. I think there is more that can be done than with a smartphone and tablet.

I agree that wearables (and eventually implantables) will be very big, I’m just not seeing the reason for the hype of the Apple Watch. I’ve had a Pebble for over a year and am very happy with it, and was thinking I was missing something with the Apple Watch. Maybe I am?

And maybe I titled this incorrectly. :slight_smile:

I think they could have a role in education in the future. I can see lots of potential for sensor experiments. However, until the cost comes down, I don’t see many schools (or teachers) forking out that kind of money for them. Fitbits, heart monitors, and other items like PocketLabs are much more affordable and practical for the average classroom.

Maybe a stand alone smart watch, like a “Apple Watch Touch”. :slight_smile: Right now the bar is pretty high, requiring a smartphone.

I gotta be honest and say that I’m struggling with the educational possibilities. I’m sure they are there, but I’m not seeing it. Holler if you got something.

One thing I think we’ll see less of in the future, though, is schools rushing in to buy the latest technology without any planning for implementation. So many schools jumped onto the iPad Wagon without a real plan. While many have done the work to come out OK on the other end, I think a lesson was learned. (Well, I hope.)

With the cost of glasses, watches, toupees, chip implants, and whatnot, I’d like to think that schools would do their homework before going crazy. (BTW, I made up the toupees and implants. They don’t exist yet.)

The iPad is interesting. For some reason people will jump through various hoops to get something done without batting an eye, but ask those same people to perform similar hoops on a laptop or desktop and you’ll never hear the end of the complaining.

And I think the flat look that is becoming so prevalent is making things harder. When did a simple text label become a button that you can tap? How do I know when text is a button or just information?

I’m interested in your toupee idea and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. :smile:

Talk about wearables, I received this in an email today.

But back to the topic, I agree. I just can’t see schools investing in another technology “fad”. Give it a year or two to see how valuable it is and how it has been used in education before investing time and money. My Chromebooks are used way more than my iPads.

I’m not sure where the Apple watch fits…but I did write something up for a graduate course that involved the Fitbit. The idea was tying together multiple subjects and schools from different areas of the states.

Tracking your steps etc. would be an item for health class. You could then use that data in Math class to compare progress across grade/gender etc. It could then lead to discussions in social studies possibly. The cool piece would be when you could compare the data from an area such as Northwest Ohio where it is farm country to an area like Columbus. I know that I walk more in Columbus than I do when I am back home. The question that could be asked is why and how does public transportation play a role in all of this.

It was very loose thinking but I think there is some possibilities here that could be explored.

1 Like

“Students like using keyboards, it makes them feel older, kind of like smoking.”


My preference for equipment is laptops, iPads, then Chromebooks. Actually, I’d prefer laptops+iPads, but since schools can’t afford that I’d move toward laptops+(Android tablet or iPod Touch).

Unfortunately, there is no one device to run them all, each has their strengthes and weaknesses.

That sounds pretty cool. I could see a use for Fitbits (or cheaper yet, pedometers). Besides number of steps they can also give a rough estimate of distance.