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Utilizing FitBit Technology for Education

A FitBit for education, let students make goals and get financial rewards for their accomplishments.

Photo of Madeline Whisenant
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Students and Colleges. The benefits for students would be the scholarships and interactive goals to keep them on track with their education. Colleges can use these education-bits to gain useful information around campus, from habits of successful students to what services aren't being used and where they could save money. They can then pass on these savings to students and make sure the students aren't paying for services they don't use.

With this FitBit for education, my plan is to allow students and universities to track their progress through college. With these education-bits students can set educational goals for themselves, track their studying, and the university can set scholarship rewards for students who meet these goals. In addition to this, the education-bit can be integrated with the school's learning management system of choice (Canvas, Blackboard, etc.) and with student's mobile phones and laptops. The system can send reminders and alerts to their bits about assignments, grades, and important messages from professors. I envision this technology could also be used a big motivational factor. The university and professors can hold educational competitions, such as who can read the most books, utilize the library facilities the most, etc. When students are motivated and successful, they don't drop out.

Universities could use this technology to save money an learn a lot of information from these as well. For example they can track what services are being used and what services aren't and allocate resources more efficiently. They can also save widespread on the costs of utilities by tracking if someone is using a classroom and if it isn't being used turn off the lights and air conditioning in those rooms. The university can use the data for a myriad of things, such as staffing decisions and giving personal attention to students who are struggling. 

These are just a few of the ways this kind of technology can be used. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I'd like to conduct surveys on students to see if this type of technology is something they would be interested in.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

More ideas on how this technology could be creatively used for education.

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Team

We’re thrilled to have you in our Refinement phase, Madeline! Your idea is creative and provides fresh thinking to the discussion of the cost of college in the U.S. We were really excited to see it in the mix! The role of technology in the higher education landscape has been a theme throughout this challenge, and your idea takes that to a new level. What if we could track what resources and services students are using to better inform decisions, including cost?

In the Refinement phase, we’d love to see you continue developing the viability, desirability and feasibility of your idea. The following are some feedback and provocations to consider. Your idea about conducting surveys for students to see if it’s of interest to them is great. Any progress there? Another key group is the university itself. It could be worth looking into if there’s desire or current efforts to track the resources students are currently using. Additionally, do universities have the freedom to change the way they use buildings or services based on this type of data? With every university operating differently and with different sources of money, just getting information from a few would provide a valuable foundation of information. Another logistical and fun piece to think about is how the inception of the technology would work. Would students be given a wearable upon admission? Would it be tested with a subgroup of students? Really interesting to think about!

Here are some key questions and milestones we encourage from all ideas in the Refinement:
1. How might this idea address the unique needs of low-income families and first generation college students?
2. Clearly summarize the value proposition of your idea in 1-2 sentences
3. Identify assumptions that need to be answered in order to validate your value proposition.
4. Collect feedback from potential partners and users to answer the assumptions you’ve identified.
5. Communicate your idea in a visual way with user experience maps http://ideo.pn/UX_Map

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 1/6" to your idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

We’re excited to see this idea progress in the next weeks!

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