Researchers to Test If Apple Watch Can Be Used in Education

A Penn State University research team is gearing up to find out how wearable technology – in this case the Apple Watch – can influence self-regulated learning, Government Technology reports (via AppleInsider).


“The thing with wearables is that these are highly personal devices, even more personal than your smartphone,” said Ben Brautigam, manager of advanced learning projects for Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) at Penn State University. “We can take this customized point of view to provide recommendations to students to enrich certain aspects of their learning.”

Rayne Sperling, a self-regulation researcher and associate professor of educational psychology at Penn State, is heading the research and wants to help students track their learning process and remind them to study. Beyond that, Sperling will also present course-tailored strategies and content through mini quizzes, with the aim of elevating learning.

As TLT manager of advanced learning projects, Ben Brautigam says the researchers plan several experiments, such as personalized recommendations and actions aimed at self-regulated study. Sperling will also survey students to find out more about their existing self-regulation strategies and experiment with the amount of learning support needed to enhance their learning.

The Apple Watch gives users a lot of flexibility, Brautigam says. To test its efficiency, the researchers will integrate the Apple Watch and use it to prompt them for feedback, which will give them information about how students research and how their understanding of material is progressing.

To get that information, Brautigan suggests they will use “yes” and “no” buttons, sliders or meters, or voice messages. But even if a student dismisses a prompt, it still gives the research team information.

The ultimate goal of this research, apparently, is to be able to predict which types of students are best able to use which types of technology, and how these tools will support their academic achievements, Sperling says.