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Make IT Happen: Wearables in the Law classroom

The field of Law is constantly changing and developing, but for a long time Law education has had a hard time catching up with these developments, holding onto tradition. Maastricht University’s Law Faculty saw it was time to innovate and break away from conventions by implementing wearables technology into Law education.

Google Glass has been the major focus of the Make IT Happen campaign, where PhD candidate Catalina Goanta, Law student Olav de Wit and researcher Gwen Noteborn introduced innovative solutions for Law education by means of wearable technology. They experienced the crucial role of simulations in Law education, through moot court settings or mediation training, and found a way to drastically change these settings using wearables.

As communication is key in these settings, eye contact is essential. Looking down to read your notes or looking at a computer can interrupt the direct contact with a client or judge. The use of  Google Glass is an innovative solution for this issue, where notes can be projected right before your eyes. Additionally, feedback on these simulations could traditionally only be given in hindsight and could not be implemented directly. By means of the Google Glass, tutors can send real-time feedback to students, enabling them to implement this feedback straight away. Finally, Google Glass offers the opportunity to film these simulations, so students can learn directly from watching their own interactions.

Simulations are often stressful for students, where insecurity and stress are recurring issues. By offering them the opportunity to access notes more effectively and giving real-time feedback on their performance, a more secure environment can be created, making Law education more flexible and personal.

The Make IT Happen campaign was not only positively received by the university and its Law students, but  also won the  public choice award at the SURF innovation challenge 2015. The Make IT Happen campaign will further develop by implementing other wearable technologies such as the Apple Watch, as well as looking at the implementation of wearables in other education programs where simulations also play a key role.

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