- The Tustin Unified School District, south of Los Angeles, has experimented with virtual reality, and Senior Director of Technology Robert Craven has his eye on using fitness trackers and smart watches next.
- District Administration reports students and staff members already track their own steps and calories burned, but Craven sees a future in which that technology could be used to make connections between physical data and student academic performance.
- IT departments need to stay ahead of the curve on this trend, as a BYOD program that invites significantly more technology into schools comes with security and network management issues, which may be best figured out by starting with a pilot.
Colleges and universities have been especially inventive about using data that is already being collected to better target student supports. They have separate systems that house data about student demographics, financial aid award levels, engagement with learning management systems, use of academic tutoring and support services and more. K-12 schools surely have some untapped potential in this realm.
Making connections between individual students, their behaviors, and prior outcomes in similar circumstances can help students improve overall academic success. Data from wearable technologies could almost certainly add a layer of useful information to inform outcomes. With any initiative like this, however, schools have to respect data privacy concerns and get ahead of any opposition parents or students might bring up.