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Hearables for Online Learning: The Beginning
September 12, 2018
Rory McGreal, Athabasca University, Canada
Hearables are wireless smart micro-computers with artificial intelligence that incorporate both speakers and microphones. They fit in the ears and can connect to the Internet and to other devices; they are designed to be worn daily. One form of specialised hearables are the earphone language translators that offer potential in language teaching.

This opens up the possibility of taking full advantage of these devices to support other forms of mobile learning in both traditional and distance education. Hearables can support the delivery of lectures, educational podcasts, notifications, and reminders through a wide variety of applications, while supporting interactivity. Intelligent hearables can determine the context and choose the right time and place to deliver the best content. These devices can become one of the principal ways we interact in learning and provide continuous support for independent, personalised, just-in-time, and self-directed learning contexts.
Keywords: hearable, artificial intelligence, language learning
Video recording
The complete guide to hearable technology in 2018 [Banks, 2018]
Hearables: The next big wearable platform [The Bald Futurist, 2016]
The future is ear: Why “hearables” are finally tech’s next big thing [Fast Company, 2018]
Hearables No Longer Whispering Wearables [Computational Thinkers]
Hey, Alexa, Should We Bring Virtual Assistants to Campus? These Colleges Gave Them a Shot [Chronicle of Higher Education, 2018]
Psst! Wearable Devices Could Make Big Tech Leaps, Into Your Ear [NPR, 2014]
Hearables - the new Wearables [Wearable Technologies, 2014]

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