This project will develop wearable technologies that will enhance our awareness of student communities in an era of increasing online provision, where students ‘attend’ the university but not necessarily the campus itself. 

With inter-disciplinary expertise from the School of Education, Design Informatics and Architecture, this project will conduct participatory workshops that will give students a voice in designing new technologies to bridge this gap. Wearable networked devices will be developed to foster ‘ambient awareness’ of the international student community: a peripheral appreciation of learning ‘at’ Edinburgh, yet not always present within the campus or the city. These devices will develop research on the ‘quantified self’ and the notion of ‘smart’ educational institutions, as well as offering critical perspectives on surveillance and privacy related to the increasing capture of student data.

The richness and intensity of campus life is often taken for granted. Yet physical co-location, visible in the bustle between lectures or the queues for coffee, create a peripheral awareness of the university community, and a crucially important ‘sense’ of the diverse yet shared pursuit of learning that ties the university together. This project therefore seeks to develop new and innovative ways of creating an ‘ambient awareness’ of the broader global space of the university community, connecting distant online students and those located at the campus, and in these ways explore global citizenship in the student population.

The project asks:

How can new understandings of the student experience be developed in an era of distance online provision and distributed university communities? How can Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, wearable devices, and a ‘smart institution’ contribute to the research of internationalisation in higher education? 
How can research of the ‘quantified self’ inform critical approaches to issues of surveillance and privacy?

Research areas
Digital Cultures
Research team

Dr Jeremy Knox

Key contact
Dr Jeremy Knox

Challenge Investment Fund