Wearable Technologies as Learning Engines: Evaluations and Perspectives


This article presents an experimental study designed to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with wearable technologies in learning activities. The overall aim of the study was to verify whether technology can be a socio-material artefact capable of generating the networks of which it is a part, giving rise to associations between human and non-human elements, producing actions driven by concrete practical activities, and acting as a motivational factor in learning. The socio-material approach has been employed as a key theoretical perspective to describe wearable technologies in learning practices and education research. This perspective, and within it, Actor-Network Theory (ANT), can play a critical role in overcoming the anthropocentric dualism between man and technology, allowing us to focus on the socio-material assemblage of a complex system involving all the agencies operating within the learning process. The methodological approach employed in the present investigation to evaluate the use of wearable technologies in educational activities included participant observation carried out by the researchers in a case study at a high school. In addition, the teachers at the school who participated in the study sat for qualitative interviews during the four-week study period, recounting the students’ participation and providing assessments of the effects of the activities. The study highlights the need for new technologies to be integrated with the proper social conditions expressly created within a complex system, where technology is a resource capable of posing problems and generating new knowledge. Within this system, technology performs a mediating function that transforms and modifies the elements that it ‘translates’, creating new educational practices.

Matteucci I. (2021) "Wearable Technologies as Learning Engines: Evaluations and Perspectives " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 13(1), 161-179. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2021-1-7  
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Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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