I just watched the Apple god Jony Ive's explanation of the Apple watch, and all I have to say is WOW! I should expect Apple at this point to think of almost everything when they introduce a new product category, but I was truly blown away by what is really in the Apple Watch. The interaction you can have with it is just amazing. I am not going to go into the specifics of the watch here though because frankly my head is spinning by all the stuff that is included. My thoughts trend towards what I do know, and that is that this is coming to schools soon and we better get ready.
You don't think this will be in schools? It's right in line with the release of the Iphone and the Ipad, and guess what they are present with our students. The Iphone was released in 2007, and many schools are still fighting battles they cant win with the use of device in schools. The Ipad was released in 2010, and you have many schools that have adopted them 1 to 1. This watch is going to change things. This is the product that opens up the wearable category to our kids. It's better to start talking about it now.
If you are a school or district that still has a no device policy, this product just killed your policy. Have your funeral for your outdated policy, and focus on what is most important......the process. You are not going to be able to tell students they can't wear a watch or they can't wear glasses (like Google Glass). The wearable product category is just going to get bigger and the price will come down. The Apple Watch does not have a prohibitive price like Google Glass, and many products will soon follow suite. Google Class actually cost less than $200 to make so you could even see makes it way to a price point that makes its available to kids, and guess what......If the Apple Watch is a hit, there will be tons of new competitors in the category.
Is this something that will be really prevalent in schools within the next year? No, but waiting on a plan is what has killed schools in the past. When schools are slow to train and slow to adopt that's where they miss the boat. I really think districts should be forward thinking. Maybe even buy 2 to 3 of them when they are released, and then put them on your best of the best techie teachers. They could then come up with classroom uses, and have something for you when your staff is going ummmmm....... what do I do about this? Smart watches can be powerful classroom tools, and if they are using them in the process of learning it means they are not doing other stuff with them.
These also mean that a teachers mobility in your classroom is more important than ever. Students are going to have a powerful tool on their wrist, and not in their pocket. In order to cut down the distractions and make sure that students are using it the right way, a teacher has to be a able to get right next to the student and see what's going on. These also open a whole new can of worms for test honesty. Can you see us trying to give state mandated test, and telling students ummmmm.... you have to put your watch in the front of the room. Hopefully, this will help kill educations over testing,, because in the end it might become impossible to make sure they are secure.
The whole thing with the Apple Watch is that the price point is going make it available to out kids. We have to be prepared for that, but preparation is like what it should be with all technologies. It's all about the process. We should all be asking our self's right now......How can I use this to make learning come alive.