Friday, December 30, 2016

8000 Daily Steps to Winning Instructional Strategies

Thanks to the holiday generosity of my sons, I have entered the world of wearable technology. Each of the past four days has been marked by at least eight thousand steps, at least thirty minutes of vigorous exercise, and at least seven hours of restful sleep. With the accompanying mobile app, my Fitbit Charge HR monitors my daily steps, heart rate, calories burned, and length and quality of sleep. I can increase the breadth and depth of my wellness program by logging food and water consumption, body weight, and types of exercise. The Fitbit dashboard provides detailed, real-time feedback that is personalized to my wellness targets.



What does wearable technology have to do with putting students in a position to win in the classroom?

  • Drive - (Daniel Pink) The general well-wishes for winter break include rest and relaxation; it's easy to become unmotivated with more free time on hand. Daniel Pink's research shines a light on factors that feed our motivation; autonomy, mastery, and purpose. The Fitbit provides independence with my wellness program. Real-time data helps me attain competence with my daily activities. I can be proactive with my personal health, saving money, reducing stress, and living better. Measured progress towards personalized, purposeful objectives increases student engagement and motivation.
  • Visible Learning - (John Hattie) Formative assessment and self-evaluation are two of the highest ranking influences of student achievement as identified by John Hattie's meta-study of what works best in education. Worn like a wristwatch, the Fitbit monitors my heart rate and activity, providing me with continuous, real-time feedback. The data provided on the Fitbit dashboard allows me to evaluate my daily activity based on several related criteria. Making adjustments to my activity keeps me on track towards my wellness goals. Personalized feedback informs students about where they are in relation to where they want to go.
  • Understanding by Design - (Grant Wiggins) Backward planning, beginning with the identification of wellness goals, set the stage for autonomous, authentically assessed growth. The Fitbit records my progress, and the application dashboard provides evidence of improving fitness. Reflecting on results provides a deeper understanding of wellness activities, prompting new objectives and regularly updated plans for next steps. Better results through goal setting, strategic planning, and authentic assessment.
In his recent blog post, Geoge Couros states, "Technology will not redefine schools". With the help of other education thought-change leaders, George explains the need for educators to stay current with technological change without losing perspective of learner agency. The Fitbit is just one obvious example of how technology is redefining physical exercise and personal wellness, maybe it's just a tool redefining our view of such activities. We can call them modern literacies, the primary consideration remains how learners can choose, and best utilize the tools at their disposal. 


Why would schools intentionally turn their backs on the wealth of personalized information technology can provide to each and every learner?

Are personal learning experiences translating to professional practice? What impact does this have on our students?

Related Reading

Promote Active Learning with Fitbits - Matthew Lynch, The Tech Edvocate

1 comment:

Aaron Davis said...

Wondering what a tetrad would look like in regards the Fitbit?