Wearable technology in Physical Education is a hot topic for research in the past 3 years. Its increasing use in schools across the globe has sparked interest from academics to look at its use and effect.
It is fair to say that the findings of current studies has been mixed thus far. Research found that the use of wearable technology in schools has had positive effects, including increased activity levels and positive motivational constructs (enjoyment, challenge, affiliation) - Brice et al. 2016 | Kerner et al. 2017 | Petherick, 2015
Although some recent studies have shown some negative effects such as short term impact, obsessive or addictive monitoring by children, and amotivation, these studies have had limitations. The main limitation is that these studies have focused on Physical Activity as opposed to Physical Education – that being looking at quantitative parameters such as "meeting the 10,000 steps" goal. Our focus is on Physical Education – whilst using the Non Stop Fitkid! to measure the effectiveness of interventions, the technology should not be used to focus children solely on their own number of individual steps, particularly where some studies have found that children have become demotivated by seeing their failures in this way, or in some cases felt ‘obsessed’ with gaining certain steps or achieving certain calories.
Our system is different to this.
Where these studies used traditional 'FitBits', which are designed and marketed for individual use and are advised at age 13+, our technology is fit for purpose – It has been exclusively designed by Physical Education specialists for use in schools. This is achieved by not allowing full disclosure of steps and other parameters to children – instead, this level of disclosure lies only with the teacher – and how much information is revealed to the children is at their discretion, much like how we censor what children watch on TV or read in the library.