Wearables in education :
Although mobiles today are ubiquitous and omni-present, our formal education system prohibits their presence ( and possible use) in the classrooms of schools, colleges and universities.
This is so inspite of UNESCO actively promoting the use of mobile phones in education for almost a decade with an annual mobile learning week in Paris around February-March. This year’s event had to be re-scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the possibilities of wearables in education are expanding rapidly and they can help enormously.
My own personal experience of wearables in education significantly predates my exposure to computers, by almost a decade.
Around the Yesr 1955, I started wearing spectacles and it opened a whole new world for me. I could read clearly what was written on the blackboard and several errors in identifying letters of the alphabet got resolved because the astigmatism of my natural eyes was corrected by wearing prescription cylindrical lenses. Had this device been banned in the classrooms in which I attended the lectures, my life’s trajectory would have been considerably different.
The present generation of mobile technology can help both learners and educators with their daily classroom activities. It is time to move
away from the view that wearables can distract the attention of the learners, these gadgets have steadily become modern powerful learning instruments.
This is a news item about Google glasses that can help the blind see : https://www.tweaktown.com/news/71117/googles-new-ai-powered-glasses-will-help-blind-people-see-once-again/index.html
The link has a 2.3 minutes video on the usage: https://shrts.in/ygzn
MIT Technology review has in its latest issue identified top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2020 and beyond that will make a real difference in solving important problems: https://www.morningbrew.com/emerging-tech/stories/2020/03/02/mit-tech-review-releases-top-10-technologies-2020
The major themes are the following:
- Quantum: Unhackable internet, i.e. quantum secure networking. And “quantum supremacy,” a feat Google reached in October 2019.
- Healthcare: Hyper-personalized medicine, AI-discovered molecules, and anti-aging drugs.
- Space: Satellite mega-constellations.
- Finance: Digital money like Facebook’s Libra.
- Environment: Climate change attribution, using supercomputers and satellite data to track extreme weather events
- Consumer: “Tiny AI” algorithms that run on mobile devices. And differential privacy, an AI technique to keep data anonymized.
This list focuses on applications of emerging technologies in business and society, rather than the tech itself.
In order to learn about these developments, exploring them using Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences would be really helpful.
- The Hands-Free Convenience
Wearables in education are star attractions on the strength of being hands-free. When you wear a gadget, you are freeing both your hands. A pair of free hands can help you better interact with the real world, alongside permitting you to enjoy a convenient access to other devices that are in your vicinity.
This is comparable to the degrees of freedom we added when we progressed from being quadrupeds to adopting a biped posture.
- A Coordination Between Teachers and Students
For a classroom to become a haven for learning and knowledge, it is important that the teachers and students work in unison with each other. There has to be a high level of coordination between both the parties so as to develop strong scholastic relationships.
With wearables in place, teachers can conduct real-time classes without assembling all the students under one roof. An on-the-go learning session is a matter of convenience that is bestowed by these wearables. Wearables which come in different forms stay with you for the entire working day, imparting knowledge about any topic that interests you.
- Communication Made Easy
With the beginning of every new academic year, students and teachers are introduced to newer versions of wearables. Updated wearables promise enhanced functionalities like messaging features, GPS and chat options are available on a Smart Watch. These wearables simplify the communication between teachers and learners alongside helping the wearer to perform calculations through its touch-screen mechanism.
You can send any sort of a query to your teacher via the smart watch, which can be answered by your faculty even remotely. Reminders that can be fed into these wearables will thus make the lives of students simple and enjoyable at the same time.
You can engage in smart communication with your peers in addition to enjoying a better access to study material that you are looking for. You can effortlessly take notes of all the important topics and collate them into ready-reference study material.
- Video Recorders Are Modern Learning Tools
These recorded lectures which brim with in-class experiences of different students will come handy to students who have either missed a class or were absent for an entire day owing to ill-health or any personal engagement. It is through this Virtual Reality (VR) enabled GoPro wearable video recorder that you can master subjects like mass communication, journalism and classes aimed at television production.
- Learn History and Languages the Smart Way
Now is the era of Virtual Reality that has attracted the attention of both learners and tutors. A host of Virtual Reality headsets such as the Oculus have already penetrated into the educational sphere permitting students specializing in languages, civics and history.
Through VR headsets, you will be transported into another territory that is linked to your subject of interest. You begin to enjoy the feel of former empires coupled with loads of information concerning foreign locales and their cultures. You can go to these places without having to step out of your classroom and experience the lifelike learnings that cannot be assimilated through useless images, pictures, slideshows or static posters.
These real-time field trips are the best ways to learning since they bring in an element of realism to what all the students wish to learn. It is through such enlivening experiences that you as a student can unleash a new world of learning.
- Muse – A Futuristic Wearable That Will Take Education To the Next Level
The future of wearable technology is Muse, a brain-sensing headband that can track signals that are given out by out brain. With a similar mechanism that makes a heart monitor function, a Muse helps teachers to assimilate pertinent information about how well the students are concentrating in the class. This wearable will pick up useful data points and present the reactions of students to a particular lecture.
Highlighting the instances when you as a student were deeply engrossed in the class alongside the times when you were utterly distracted, the Muse can become a learner-centric brain tracker. Modern teachers can bank upon this wearable to improve student engagement, in addition to helping them assess their brain patterns concerning different learning activities.
The possibilities of using wearables in education are growing by leaps and bounds. A plethora of technologically-driven gadgets have already made waves in the sphere of education, revolutionizing the academic industry so that students can reach the ‘sweet spot’ of their learning curve; effortlessly and quickly.