What is Quantified Self?

Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their daily activities through the use of technology. The emergence of wearable devices on the market such as watches, wristbands, and necklaces that are designed to automatically collect data are helping people manage their fitness, sleep cycles, and eating habits. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-read dashboards for consumers to view and analyze their personal metrics. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health. Today’s apps not only track where a person goes, what they do, and how much time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations are and when those can be accomplished. Novel devices, too, are enabling people to track their lives automatically, such as the Memoto, a camera worn around the neck that is designed to capture an image every half minute. As more people rely on their mobile devices to monitor their daily activities, data is becoming a larger part of everyday life.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • I don't know that I see this in the near future, but data is king. The ability to collect more data to help students who are struggling, find optimal study times, measure their level of engagement... I can see this really helping students. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 12, 2015 you are right about that Alice! - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 21, 2015
  • In the fare horizon, this technology could be part of the “Big Data” Learning Analytics area. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Feb 16, 2015
  • It is definitely relevant to the educational sector, especially in the IB framework for teaching that includes important units of inquiry with the Physical and Health Education subject. This "approach" should be linked with the wearable technologies as it includes all the physical activities that are recorded for the purpose of analyzing data. - dsilva dsilva Feb 16, 2015 Total agree - kayj kayj Feb 22, 2015 Agree...seems a no brainer for health classes though also may have some privacy challenges depending on who can see the data. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 21, 2015
  • While I don't know of specific schools doing this yet, I can't believe they aren't! The combination of the ease of collecting personal health data using relatively inexpensive devices (fitbit, other health tracking devices), the US challenge with childhood health issues, and the power and relevance of using real world personal data to learn basic math and science concepts seems like a golden opportunity to use the technology to make learning relevant and engaging while also addressing very real health issues around sedentary lifestyles. This one feels like a currently accessible no-brainer for teaching students to collect and work with data, learn to chart, graph, project, set goals and measure progress, etc. - leslie.s.conery leslie.s.conery Feb 16, 2015
  • I definitely see a place for a student and teacher to take control of their personal data. Learning how to read data, analyze it and make steps towards a change is a very real-world approach to quantified self - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 21, 2015
  • The future for tracking student data and transferring that to actionable instructional data is intriguing. A number of great items mentioned above from health classes to IB and methods for assisting struggling students with learning. The interesting aspect is going to be how parents accept the technology tracking the students. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 21, 2015
  • As much as it is a concern, data collection derived from quantified self technologies will play an important role in the future of innovative teaching and learning. In a world where information is largely available and education shifts from a need to memorize to a need to analyze and critically think about what is being taught and learned, data tracking is a valuable way to document and map the process of learning/teaching. Associated with geolocation, this sort of data collection might also help in tracking sts's medical records, prevent abuse and help those at risk and allow for more solid socioeconomic studies.- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The need to include short term goal setting and being intentional, especially for students with low self efficacy. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 12, 2015
  • Lifelogging is one area that could be added: http://lifestreamblog.com/lifelogging/ - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 21, 2015
  • We will need to intentionally think about privacy. for example, RFID a few years ago makes conceptual sense for an easy way to take attendance...kids just have an id and attendance is taken automatically when you come in class or on school bus. But parents and legislators became very concerned about "big govt" monitoring their children. I still think that if I had a small child or one with special needs, I might want some kind of real data from a monitor on my child that they were on the bus or at school...but I can also see this will raise alarms by some. Even in the case of monitoring for one's own health data, will the teacher see that...and can they recommend different diet, activities, etc. based on obesity? - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 21, 2015
  • I think that besides the obvious concern regarding privacy, something else to think about is when data is manipulated and tapped to the benefit of private companies, research or anyone that does not respect the authenticity of the collection.- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Impact could be considerable if the quantification extends to social and emotional tracking and is linked to health and learning data, and raise major privacy issues. As with many other technologies this one begins outside schools as a consumer item but it will both reach into schools regardless of any intervention and be harnessed by innovative teachers to design exciting engaging learning activities. - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 9, 2015
  • Thinking beyond a tablet or laptop, 1-to-1 could mean fitness trackers for students. Empowering students with data! - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 21, 2015
  • The potential for helping students understand some choices they make on their health will be beneficial. Privacy is a great concern of course. The ability to understand how your choices related to your life will be very important. I would like to suggest we maybe add the word Quantified Self - Self Tracking. Just a thought - kayj kayj Feb 22, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • South Korea is looking into classrooms that track students eye movements and stress levels to provide real-time feedback to the teacher (Prof Peck Cho, UNESCO workshop, Paris, April 2014). - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 9, 2015
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  • Looks like we have a conference in June for QS Conference and Expo in San Francisco http://conference.quantifiedself.com/ - kayj kayj Feb 22, 2015
  • There quite a few apps in app stores that collect data and will allow the sharing of these "surveys". One of them is http://www.reporter-app.com/. However, what amazes me is that may of those apps will have sharing policies that are shady and that are later sold/released under the excuse of " anonymized data".- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015
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