Smartwatches and the Classroom

watchWith the wearable tech market on the rise, and now that Apple is definitely entering the market, there is one place that I can see the smartwatch being a real problem- the classroom. Teachers already have it hard fighting the battle against cell phone and texting in class (of course texting can happen on computers now too). The smartwatch will only make that battle even harder.

Instead of hiding a cell phone on his/her lap, or in a desk, students can see notifications, texts, and maybe more (depending on the features of the watch) right on their wrists.

As a teacher myself I see this battle being harder than the cell phone one. A teacher can’t stop class or talk to a student every time he/she looks at their watch. What if it isn’t a smartwatch and they are just checking the time? For that matter, what if it is a smartwatch and the student is truly checking the time?

Some schools have banned phones from the classroom and have rules that phones must stay in lockers. Are watches going to start having the same rule? As the wearable market grows will that same rule apply to all jewelry? Will earrings become the new earbud?

This category of products is still relatively new (although growing up I remember the calculator watch and watches with simple video games). It remains to be seen if it even takes off, especially with students. I suspect it will not be a big problem in the short term. I imagine very few students have smartwatches today. However, this can all change if the prices of the Apple Watch and other smartwatches drop. The smartwatch presents an interesting issue for the classroom that will only get worse.

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