Wearable Technology in a Dentistry Study Program: Potential and Challenges of Smart Glasses for Learning at the Workplace

  • Eva Mårell-OlssonEmail author
  • Isa Jahnke


Wearables such as smart glass technologies with augmented-reality functionalities have the advantages of being voice-controlled and hands-free. The person, for example, the dentist, has both hands available for doing the actual work while using smart glasses to retrieve augmented information or to communicate with others. To understand the potential of smart glasses for enhancing workplace learning, we conducted a study in a dentistry study program. The study goal was to explore the use of smart glasses in order to inform future workplace learning designs. The central research question focused on facilitating communication, coordination, and cooperation in student clinical practice of becoming a dentist. In this chapter, we describe the case and demonstrate the need to reconsider the established concepts of technology-enhanced learning from traditional course-based learning into learning processes. The results are organized along five themes – communication support, coordination support, information management, technical issues, and future designs – that illustrate new ways of digital workplace learning with wearable technology.


Wearable technology Augmented reality Smart glasses Education Digital workplace learning 



We thank the teacher Lena Mårell and the students of the dentistry study program at Umeå University in Sweden for participating in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Educational ScienceUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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