Penn State University is road-testing the latest iteration of wearables with an Apple Watch experiment.

 

In a project this summer at PSU’s main campus in State College, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus reports that eight Apple Watches (purchased by the school) will help researchers measure the learning potential of wearables. I’m all for beta-testing new technology and vetting new gear to gauge pedagogical value, but, will the Apple Watch go by the wayside, like Google Glass? The question has been asked over and over again: if you have a smartphone, why would you need an Internet-enabled watch? PSU is exploring if more “transparent” tech (watch vs phone) can increase the salutary effects of seamless interactivity.

 

I am a fierce technology advocate, but I wonder about the usefulness of the Apple Watch as a learning tool. Do we want to encourage students to be more distracted in class? Professors can say “no phones or tablets” during class, but they cannot say “no watches.” It’s a slippery slope. Students are already connected to technology enough without being literally tethered to it.

 

Read more of the interview with Penn State here. http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/wearable-teaching-college-to-experiment-with-apple-watch-as-learning-tool/56459  

 

Margot Douaihy is the editorial director of AV Technology, Tech Manager Today, and EDUwire. 

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