Tag Archives: technology

‘Watching’ you

Here is an interesting article I read a few months ago:

Apple CEO: Watch is saving lives – Business Insider

Apple COO Jeff Williams:

Apple has gotten “a ton of emails where people say the Watch actually saved their life,” he says.

“The only thing on the Apple Watch from a medical standpoint is the heart rate sensor,” he says.

And while anyone can talk their own wrist pulse anytime, “having the information readily available and passively tracked in the background has proved to be profound, in a way we didn’t anticipate,” he adds.

“We’ve gotten so many emails where people or their cardiologist have written us and said, ‘This person detected something on their Watch and came in and they had a life threatening situation. If we had not intervened, they probably would have died.”

So, continuous heart rate monitoring can be very valuable, and the article also mentions a Fitbit detecting a woman’s sleep apnea… What’s next?

I can remember my mom having a health issue and she had to carry around a heart monitor for several days. It was bulky, strapped on to her, and needed to be unplugged from her when she showered. It was an inconvenient interruption to her life, but it provided important information for her doctor.

Imagine a few years from now when you go to your doctor and say, I’ve noticed an issue where my heart starts racing even though I’m not exercising… and your doctor says, that’s interesting, will you please download your last month’s data onto my tablet? A couple clicks later your doctor knows when this happened, your step count for the day, the last time you exercised, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your sugar levels, the oxygen levels of your blood, and a whole host of other data that she has at her finger tips.

She won’t have to say, I think I need to run some tests, but rather she will have a plethora of historical data that actually extends beyond what she might have tested for. She might have advice to share that she would not have known to share if you hadn’t provided her with this data. Maybe she injects a small sensor under your skin so that your watch can provide her with more information. And then you can set your watch to ping your doctor the next time you have an issue.

And then the next time the health issue does happen, your phone actually warns you before you feel your heart racing. As the sensation hits you, you get a text message from your doctor saying, “Don’t worry, it will pass, set an appointment with me next week, we will work to settle this down”… or, “Are you with someone that can drive you to the hospital? I’ll meet you there.” This might be a bit scary, but not as scary as the text message not happening and you having a medical issue that is much better or far worse than you think.

Yes, there are some worrisome questions like ‘who owns this data’, and privacy is a concern, but this is really exciting and can become something that saves your life more than once. The issue of private data being shared is something we will all have to figure out. People are already working on this, listen to CBC Spark with Nora Young to learn more: How to empower patients with medical data.

On a lighter side, maybe this watch that you wear (or maybe it’s a cyborg-like addition to your body rather than something you wear) can actually help you maintain a better lifestyle. Maybe it knows you are on a diet and locks the fridge when you try to get into it after 8pm, or it beeps incessantly and annoyingly when you are eating something unhealthy. Or it reminds you that you have missed your scheduled workout and prompts you to set up a ‘make-up’ time.

We are entering an interesting time of wearable technology and some time soon, accessories like watches might be watching us far more than we are watching them!

Luke Skywalker's Hand - May The 4th Be With You! :)

Luke Skywalker’s Hand – May The 4th Be With You! 🙂

Luddite Doctors? Luddite Teachers?

Imagine if a doctor’s first instinct was to ban new technology from hospitals…

Imagine if a educator’s first instinct was to ban new technology from schools…

Ellyn Schaffner said, on twitter, about this Warning poster: 
http://flic.kr/p/7HxNsv @datruss Read your poster again this morn and thought about how it needs revamping to include handheld web devices”

I think filtering and a ban on handheld devices are two separate ideas, but the cartoon above shows my thoughts on banning technology. I would love to see someone put both ideas together into one cohesive poster or cartoon, but my creative juices just aren’t flowing at 4:30am this morning. 🙂

This cartoon by RRMurry on bitstrips makes an insightful comment related to both ideas:

Related posts: 
• Is the tool an obstacle or an opportunity? (older version of the Miss Management cartoon)
• The POD’s are Coming! BLC09 (POD’s – Personally Owned Devices)


Alan November: “Do learning”


Forgot that I had made a screen shot of this until I decided to clean up my desktop, (which at the time looked very much like Alan’s when he presents:-)

This goes well with my recent pairadimes post

We aren’t in the ‘teaching business’, rather we are in the ‘learning business’.

…and yes, Alan, we aren’t in the technology business either! 

Subject-Verb Agreement


I think posters like this… student generated, are great!

There is something to be said about it being a hand-crafted project as well… It is easy enough to share it digitally after-the-fact, as I have.

I shared this: http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/great-things-in-the-classroom/ which has all kinds of student work posted. I think much of it can be then shared with each other and with the world after-the-fact… after putting ‘pencil to paper’.

We need to stop seeing technology as an either/or thing and start seeing it as useful tools on a spectrum of tools that includes pencil & paper, Skype, blogs and wikis, and everything in between!

Empathy, Not Technology, Is Core of the Problem and the Solution

danah boyd | apophenia » “Bullying” Has Little Resonance with Teenagers

[…] When I first started interviewing teenagers about bullying, they would dismiss my questions. “Bullying is so middle/elementary school,” they’d say. […]

[…] Of course, teens do take it seriously. And they do misinterpret when people are messing with them. And they do take minor social infractions personally. And then things escalate. And here’s what makes bullying so difficult to address. So often, one person thinks that they’re not at fault and that they’re simply a victim of bullying. But those who are engaged in the bullying see it entirely differently. They blame the person and see what they’re doing as retaliation. None of this is communicated, of course, so things can quickly spiral out of control without anyone really knowing where it all began.[…]

Empathy, Not Technology, Is Core of the Problem and the Solution

[…] We need interventions that focus on building empathy, identifying escalation, and techniques for stopping the cycles of abuse. We need to create environments where young people don’t get validated for negative attention and where they don’t see relationship drama as part of normal adult life. The issues here are systemic. And it’s great that the Internet is forcing us to think about them, but the Internet is not the problem here. It’s just one tool in an ongoing battle for attention, validation, and status. And unless we find effective ways of getting to the root of the problem, the Internet will just continue to be used to reinforce what is pervasive.

– – –

Finally, a well said and researched article that recognizes that the Internet is not the problem… It just amplifies the issues already present.

The bullying that Ann and her brother endured was as cruel as anything that happens on the internet and back then, before cell phones, cell phone cameras, MSN, Facebook and YouTube, it didn’t matter if the information didn’t go beyond the class or the school because that was the scale of the ‘whole world knowing’ anyway.

Blaming the internet or technology for making bullying worse is like blaming a gun for shooting someone. It’s not the tool, but how you use it that matters.

We need to develop empathy from a young age, infuse caring across the curriculum, and as Dana says, stop validating negative attention and start breaking the cycles of abuse that escalate into hurtful scenarios, (both on and off the internet).

“Empathy, Not Technology, Is Core of the Problem and the Solution!”