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Can the Apple Watch Enhance Student Achievement?

Prompts for learning regulation will be delivered via that Apple Watch, as well as other devices.

A research team from Penn State University will try to find out how student learning can be enhanced by applying what is known about self-regulation and learning strategies.

Credit: Hine/Flickr

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers will test how the Apple Watch can enhance student achievement via self-regulation and learning strategy.

"I think that there's some versatility here that we haven't seen before in this type of application," says PSU professor Rayne Sperling. She currently is determining the proper learning prompts to help students in their learning regulation, and she says "one way that prompts can support students' awareness of their own learning is through modeling the types of questions students should ask themselves. Further, our scaffolds can prompt awareness of whether [the student] understands content and will also provide strategy suggestions."

In an ideal scenario, the prompts will be managed in one place, but delivered across different formats including the Apple Watch, smartphones, PSU's Web-based learning management system, and other wearable devices in the future, according to researcher Ben Brautigam.

The final scaffolds will be provided to student volunteers in fall science, technology, engineering, and math courses so the researchers can see when and how different tech formats impact self-regulated learning and student achievement.

Sperling says the culmination of the study will be the ability to predict which types of students are best able to use which types of technologies, and how these tools are supporting their academic achievements.

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