NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1046639
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Algorithmic Skin: Health-Tracking Technologies, Personal Analytics and the Biopedagogies of Digitized Health and Physical Education
Williamson, Ben
Sport, Education and Society, v20 n1 p133-151 2015
The emergence of digitized health and physical education, or "eHPE", embeds software algorithms in the organization of health and physical education pedagogies. Particularly with the emergence of wearable and mobile activity trackers, biosensors and personal analytics apps, algorithmic processes have an increasingly powerful part to play in how people learn about their own bodies and health. This article specifically considers the ways in which algorithms are converging with eHPE through the emergence of new health-tracking and biophysical data technologies designed for use in educational settings. The first half of the article provides a conceptual account of how algorithms "do things" in the social world, and considers how algorithms are interwoven with practices of health tracking. In the second half, three key issues are articulated for further exploration: (1) health tracking as a "biopedagogy" of bodily optimization based on data-led and algorithmically mediated understandings of the body; (2) health tracking as a form of pleasurable self-surveillance utilizing data analytics technologies to predict future bodily probabilities and (3) the ways that health-tracking produces a body encased in an "algorithmic skin", connected to a wider "networked cognitive system". These developments and issues suggest the need for greater attention to how algorithmic systems are embedded in emerging eHPE technologies and pedagogies.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A