Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dashboarding and Self Regulation

I have two new devices in my life. The first is my iWatch bought last weekend in LA and the second is my Ford C-Max hybrid. I love both devices (and yes my car is a devices).  They both speak to my other devices and operate as part of my digital life.
Both have dashboard that are aimed at improving my behavior. the iWatch has an activity monitor that uses a very simple design to see if I am reaching my daily movement goals (exercise, standing, and walking). It is easily accessible through one tap on the face of the watch.

My hybrid has a dashboard that informs me how green is my my driving. It provides feedback on energy storing, breaking behavior and overall effective energy consumption. This has changed my behavior, at least in the short run. I am driving more cautiously and I am keenly aware of accelartaion and sudden stops.

I always knew that movement is good for me or that driving in a more even way would reduce fuel consumption. At the same time there quite a gap between knowing and acting on the knowledge. This is where the dashboards come to our rescue. Dashboards tell us how we do and give us formative feedback so we evaluate our performance in situ and even take corrective action. What I am less sure of is how long this effect will last. But if the dashboards create a lasting effect then it is worth thinking about the potential leverage in critical points in education.

I do not think that we can dashboard our whole life- it is simply too much to take in on a regular basis. But if we can identify critical practices that would be supported by a dashboard then we should at least attempt to that.

My idea is to start with device use for students. I can easily imagine an app that shows device use across 3-4 categories: Reading, Games, Social Media, Learning. A dashboard like that can easily show students how much of the time they are using different modes. This is especially important as we consider what might be a productive learning use of devices provided by schools.
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