Wearables’ mounting popularity may soon carry over to schools.
New research indicates that the U.S. market for classroom wearables could climb nearly 46 percent annually, reaching $4 billion by 2020. At the same time, the global market could grow 36 percent per year, to exceed $6 billion in revenue.
Technology research and advisory company Technavio, which published the findings, attributes the steady surge to today’s education trends.
“With the rise in digitalization in education, schools and institutions have adopted digital tools and gadgets such as tablets and e-learning modules to enhance student engagement,” a press release states. “The adoption of wearable technology has improved the engagement in ways that were previously not possible.”
According to Technavio, higher ed institutions adopt wearable technology more readily than K–12 schools and districts, although both segments pull from the same list of vendors, notably Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Fitbit.
Technavio posits that devices from these vendors will become more common as prices drop and bulk purchases become more feasible. In the meantime, schools and districts have already begun experimenting with the technology.
The Laker & The Pioneer reports that Westonka Public Schools in Minnetrista, Minn., relies on wearable sensors to track student fitness data in real time.
“Each student has the capability to personalize their PE experience to fit their specific fitness goals and activity levels,” John Wardlow, a health and physical education teacher at Mound Westonka High School, told the newspaper.
The New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report 2015 K–12 Edition suggests that wearables — which are only four to five years from mainstream adoption — could also be particularly helpful to students with hearing, visual and mobility impairments.
“These kinds of discreet and seamless wearables can help level the playing field for disabled students, allowing them to engage in the same kinds of physical and learning activities as their peers,” the report states.