What is Quantified Self?


Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their everyday lives through the use of technology. The emergence of wearable devices on the market such as watches, wristbands, and necklaces that are designed to automatically collect data are helping people manage their fitness, sleep cycles, and eating habits. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-read dashboards for consumers to view and analyze their personal metrics. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health. Today’s apps not only track where a person goes, what they do, and how much time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations are and when those can be accomplished. Novel devices, too, are enabling people to track their lives automatically, such as the Memoto, a camera worn around the neck that is designed to capture an image every half minute. As more people rely on their mobile devices to monitor their daily activities, data is becoming a larger part of everyday life.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Quantified self may have particular nuanced relevance to Irish HE students - as a nation we are confronted with two very serious health/well-being challenges:obesity and an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. There is an opportunity to address these issues in the context of wider supports for students in HE (i.e., not specific to their course of study). If 'quantified self' is connected to the broader theme of digital literacy, and students take a serious interest in monitoring their health/lifestyle, this could have a profound impact for good. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015
  • Quantified self is also a route to getting students to understand issues of data collection and privacy and how these impact on each individual. QS in fact provides a very useful, well grounded 'living laboratory' for exploring such issues, with benefits as to how students then might look on privacy issues relating to social media and other data gathering apps. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015
  • For student in STEM disciplines, QS provides a good basis for exploring data/analytics. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Any discussion on QS must include questions of privacy/ethics including a focus on the ideologies that might underpin 'services' offered by third parties. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on third-level education in Ireland?

  • Covered in (1) above. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Check with Prof Niall Moyna at DCU? - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015
  • add your response here

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