Wearable technology has been bearing fruits for multiple businesses across various industries. The education sector is no exception. The benefits of wearable technology in education are plenty.
This blog discusses the many benefits of wearable technology in Ed Tech. But first, let’s know a bit about the wearable technology.
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What is Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology refers to electronic devices that can be worn as accessories, implanted in the body, tattooed onto the skin, or embedded into the clothes to track movements and physical activities.
These devices operate on microprocessors, are hands-free, and are portable. Additionally, these devices can exchange data through Wi-Fi; and send and receive data/information over the Internet. This technology, like any other, has its pros and cons that a user or business needs to consider before investing in it.
Smartwatches, smart glasses, AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) headsets, smart sensors, implants, etc., are some of the examples of successful wearable technology products.
Some of the wearable technologies used in classrooms are:
These are used to record lectures, organize tests, send notes and voice messages, etc., and enhance the communication between learners and teachers. Apple smartwatch, for example, has a ‘schooltime’ feature in it.
2. Fitness Bands
Fitness trackers such as Fitbit, Moki, etc., allow students to monitor their daily physical activities and progress over a period. These devices also help gym teachers to get a comprehensive view of a student’s health and physical growth.
3. Smart Glasses
Wearable technology for education includes smart products such as smart glasses and cameras. These devices are used to provide directions to the students and lead them to their designated classrooms. These hands-free devices can further be used to record and save video or audio, capture photos and videos, etc. Using Google glasses, teachers and students can look for the classroom, record the lecture for later study, etc.
Google Glass camera, for example, can further monitor a classroom and offer real-time updates and communication options to teachers.
4. Video Recorders
These wearable video recorders such as GoPro allow educators to record lessons or concepts for the learners not present in the classroom.
5. Bluetooth Earphones
These are used in the classrooms to make the content more digestible or consumable through audio notes. Furthermore, this technology is used during art study or field trips, to provide instructions in a classroom, to receive comments as well as translate the lessons into native languages.
More wearable devices in education such as brain sensor headbands and VR headsets are used in classrooms. While the former is used to transmit and record brain impulses for a better understanding of the grasping ability and situation, the latter is used to offer virtual tours of places that otherwise could not be visited physically at that moment.
Benefits of Wearable Technology in Education (Ed Tech)
Wearable technology is one of the most widely used technologies in everyday human life. From smartwatches to gaming AR/VR headsets, some of us just can’t imagine our lives without these wearable products. These gadgets are believed to enhance human life and indulgences.
This value addition has been helping this technology gain growing popularity and acceptance, with users and businesses, alike. Education is one such sector where wearable technology has been enhancing the learning and teaching experience.
The combination of hardware and software building blocks enables wearable devices to contribute to the educational sector.
Sensors, readout circuit interface, the energy harvester and the power management and telecommunications units, are the key hardware building blocks of a wearable product. The software component, on the other hand, is programmed to make the device’s hardware work as per the different subsystems and inputs from sensors, for example, video, audio, gestures and speech.
The concept diagram highlighting the software and hardware building blocks of wearable products used for educational purposes is given below.
Let’s look at some of the benefits offered by wearable technology in education:
1. Engaging Learning Experience
Wearable technology allows the learning experience to be engaging and immersive. Wearable devices act as educational tools that strengthen student-teacher communication and enhances ways of learning, and student’s overall performance.
Teaching and exam schedules could be shared, information about timelines for assignments could be passed, etc., with the use of wearable devices. Moreover, with AR/VR headsets, students can explore something that’s beyond physical reach at that moment.
Understanding concepts has been made easier and more engaging with these headsets. Students could be in the world they are learning about just by the combination of real and virtual elements.
2. Student Performance Monitoring
With enhancement in the learning environment, students are bound to learn and perform better. This could also be monitored by wearable technology. Educators can monitor their students and evaluate their progress and growth. Moreover, their vitals such as stress levels could also be monitored especially during stressful situations like a test.
The data is then studied and analyzed to offer a personalized learning environment, creating higher chances of growth and success. Wearable technology in education offers more positive learning and teaching outcomes.
3. Better Learning and Reduced Times
With more engaging and immersive learning experiences, the benefits of wearable technology in Ed Tech are apparent. Using this technology, educators can take real-time lectures/classes without having to assemble students in one place. Queries could be asked, and remote material could be accessed for additional help.
In comparatively less time, students can learn and cover more concepts, access the study material, and ask all doubts using wearable technology. Moreover, lectures could be recorded for the absentees in case of both, remote as well as physical classroom learning, helping all learners cope-up.
Moreover, usage of the wireless earphones inside classrooms makes the content more consumable with the audio notes.
This also enables distance learning in times of natural calamities, local/national distress, or medical emergencies.
4. Safer Classroom Environments
Since classrooms could be monitored through cameras and real-time updates could be shared with the educators or the authorities, this creates a safer classroom environment. Moreover, with monitoring of student’s vitals, their pressure and stress levels could be managed immediately, whenever required.
Despite having these advantages, wearable technology in education also comes with certain cons, just like there are two sides to a coin. Let’s look at these disadvantages in the next and the last section of this blog.
Disadvantages of Wearable Technology in Education
Since we have talked about the benefits of wearable technology in this blog, it becomes important to throw some light on the disadvantages of the same as well. This is because no technology comes cheap, it is an investment, so better to be an informed one. Users or businesses should weigh all the pros and cons before making any decision.
Here are some of the disadvantages of wearable technology in education:
1. Expensive Devices
Wearable devices come at a higher price. This is because the technology is still in its initial stages and there are fewer market players and hence, less competition. Moreover, wearable technology that offers benefits in the educational aspect is generally more expensive.
2. Some Devices Are Not Standalone
Not all the wearable devices available in the market are standalone. Some require additional equipment or resources such as smartphones, or any other platform for efficient working.
Full functionality requires supplementing the wearable technology with additional systems immediately after adoption.
3. Technical Limitations
Battery capacity is a concern with wearable technology. Perhaps with advancement, this issue would be resolved, however, the available products do suffer from short battery lives, raising the need to charge the devices every now and then.
4. Data Privacy Concerns
Data privacy is a huge concern when it comes to adopting any technology. In fact, the U.S. Center of Digital Democracy reported in one of its studies that there are higher chances of loss of private information with health wearables.
Since wearable devices collect and share the personal data of educators as well as learners, it is important to go through the data security and safety provisions for each device/product.
Thus, the benefits of wearable technology in education are multiple, however, there are some issues with currently available products that will be solved as the technology matures. Despite these disadvantages, wearable technology has the power to transform the education sector and create a more engaging and well-connected learning experience.
Wearable technology is making strides in other industries as well. It powers life-saving devices as well as enhances productivity and coordination for businesses. Every budding as well as established business should weigh its pros and cons keeping its unique business structure and needs in mind and should invest in wearable app development.
Looking for a reliable wearable app development technology partner? Look no further!
BigOh is a leading name in the tech industry that has extensive industry experience and exposure. We are adept at mobile app and web development, staff augmentation, IT consulting, and emerging technologies.
Wearable app development is done by a dedicated development team and designers who create synergies to offer the most practical and lucrative wearable products to clients.
The entire design and development process is undertaken after thoroughly going through the business structure, the target audience, and its unique needs.