alanminlunwu

Onto the Year of Quantified Self

In Becoming ruminative in education on January 8, 2013 at 2:44 PM

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A close friend of mine was preaching to me on the greatness of the Nike Fuelband the other day, stating her sustained motivation to run with the device tied to her shoe lace so she could continue receiving congratulatory video snippets once she accomplished the goals she set on a daily basis.   A little positive feedback does go a long way indeed.  However, her proposition didn’t take hold in me since I am not a habitual jogger after all.

Just today during my meeting with my research team someone mentioned the quantified self movement, and I began to think  about how consumer electronics and information techs have become indispensable parts of our life and growingly people seem to have become dependent on technologies or the Internet to define themselves at different levels.   With social media such as Twitter and Facebook, one can be more than willingly to assess how he or she is popular among friends by seeing how many likes he/she obtained with an upload of vacation picture or bio portrait.  With Fuelband and fitness apps, one can see how many calories were burned during a day’s work and exercise.   People rely on the numbers showing on these devices, apps, or Internet sites to sustain their intellectual/physical growth, and the value of their social presence.   These numbers as appeared on the technologies become data, which in turn help the companies who designed the techs improve functions (so that users become more reliant and willing to purchase updated versions).   Is this bad?   Not necessarily.   Technologies afford people choices and it’s up to the users of technology to do what’s best for them as they see fit.

Though this may seem a bit deviating from the above discussion, a point I wish to make here is that what would all these numbers, turned into data, help improve education?   Creative uses of technologies in the classroom coupled with quantifiable data feeding right back to decisions on the improvement of instruction do not seem far-fetched but we need more concerted effort and research to make technologies work for educators and 21st century learners.

Slowly but surely, the quantified-self movement took off and has taken a stronghold in 2012.   My best guess is, onto year 2013 with the quantified self movement we go ~~

For more information related to the movement, please read the following article on Forbes.

Consumer Electronics Show 2013: The Year of Quantified Self

For quantified self tools, click on below link ^__^

Quantified Self– Guide to Self-Tracking Tools

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