5 Reasons Why I'm Not Writing About the Apple Watch

A shiny bauble.

September 10, 2014

The Apple Watch has already absorbed too much of my attention and mental energy.  

I’m already sick of the thing, and the Apple Watch will not even launch until sometime in early 2015.

5 Reasons Why I'm Not Writing About the Apple Watch:

Reason #1 - The Trap of Techno Enthusiasm:

Why do us higher ed tech people get so excited about consumer tech?  Can you show me an example where consumer tech has improved learning, lowered educational costs, or improved access?  

Perhaps we should reserve our excitement for technologies that are actually designed for education?

The Apple Watch may be the next must-have tech toy, but at best it fills a need none of us really knew we had.  

This is not a bad thing.  Most of the things we buy we don’t really need.  

But we should understand the Apple Watch for what it is, a luxury good, and not a new technology that will make any difference in higher education.

Reason #2 - A Distraction from the Real Higher Ed Story:

The real story seems to me to be the systematic and sustained disinvestment in public higher education.  

This disinvestment in public higher education has increased the share of tuition dollars that students must pay, compromised quality, and put enormous pressures on the faculty.

I’d be interested in your nominations for the big higher ed story.

The Apple Watch is a shiny bauble.  

Some frosting is fine every now and again, but we should be sure that most of our conversations and attention are focused on more consequential matters.  

Reason #3 - A Watch Has Nothing Really to Say About Teaching, Learning, and Higher Ed:

Just because Apple sells it, it doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with us.  

Apple enjoys some pretty amazing mindshare amongst the edtech guild.  Google does as well.  I can't think of any other company that comes close.  Nominations?

But does a watch, even an Apple Watch, have anything to do with higher ed?  

I guess we could worry about new tech distractions in our classrooms.  

Or we could say something about how the LMS platforms will be jumping all over WatchKit, coming out with fancy notification emojis for whenever a new assignment or discussion board post is posted.   

Just because we can conjure up some possible areas where higher education and the Apple Watch may overlap, does not mean that we should do so.

Reason #4 - Wearable Tech Is Overhyped Enough:

What is more overhyped?  The Internet of Things, Big Data, or Wearable Tech?

How about we start hyping the seminar.

Or the scholar-educator model of teaching.

Will wearable tech be a big deal?  Wearable tech will no doubt make some people lots of money.  That is great.  

Does wearable tech have anything really to do with higher education.  Probably not much.

Reason #5 - The First Four Versions Will Probably Be Pretty Bad Anyway:

The last reason that I’m not writing about the Apple Watch is that the first versions will probably not be very good.

It will be too heavy, too thick, and too limited.

The apps will not be very very useful.

The battery life and the nightly charging will be annoying.

The time to get excited about a smart watch is not in 2015, but in 2018. 

What are the reasons that you are not going to talk about the Apple Watch?


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