An educational Fitbit?

Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, Jan 02, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Doug Johnson illustrates both the promise and the peril of measurement in education. Drawing on the popularity of health and fitness devices such as FitBit, he speculates as to where an educational analogue could be developed. But look at the sort of things it might measure:

  • Pages read
  • Math problems solved
  • Words written

Is this what we mean by educational health and fitness? These measures are (at best) inputs to the educational process, related to the practice, but not the purpose. An educational FitBit would need to drill a bit deeper - after all, even the real FitBit measures things like heartbeat and weight, things we can't change directly, but are reflective of the outcomes of fitness activities.

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