Yesterday, I had the honor of being a panelist in a session called “Integrating Technology into the Curriculum” at the Indiana University School of Education’s Exemplary Teaching Conference in Bloomington, Ind. One question I was asked during the panel was how I see Glass being used in the classroom. I talked briefly about how I use it to have students make First Person Narrative Videos, how teachers use Google Hangouts to record in-class labs, and how teachers of Special Needs students use live Hangouts to coach students through real-world situations.
One conversation I had several times throughout the day was what happens when students start bringing Glass into the classroom. Sure, we can ban them like many teachers ban cell phones. But, we can’t ban devices forever. And, if the student has the prescription lens version of Glass and needs their Glass to see, what then? The concern comes because Glass has the ability to do a Google search on the screen. As with many devices that are already in our classrooms, if we’re teaching information that can be easily Googled, we should be teaching something else. If every student has access to that information even more accessible than the proverbial “at their fingertips”, we need to be teaching what to do with that information. We know we should be teaching higher order thinking skills, but tools like Google Glass and other wearable technologies (i.e. Smartwatches) make that all the more critical.
Speaking of the access to information, one app that I love using with Glass is the Field Trip app. While walking around the campus, using GPS data, Field Trip notified me sites and historical information. I learned about Andrew Wylie, Hoagy Carmichael, Dave Stoller, and even an obscure reference to Mack C. Benn Jr.
When I pass a point of interest, Glass chimes and an image pops up telling me the notable information and the source:
If I want to learn more, I just touch the slider at my temple or say “OK Glass” and the first option is “Read More”. I can also select “Read aloud”, “Share” (using my Google+ contacts), “Get Directions”, or “Explore” (which tells me about more nearby points of interest), “Favorite” (to add to my favorite list), and “Snooze” (to stop the notifications temporarily).
The “Read More” option shows me this:
I’ll admit, I was entertained way too much by all the “Breaking Away” points of interest on or near campus. If you attended IU or spent extended time in Indiana, you’ve probably seen or know of the movie and had a chuckle with me. If not, well, you can find it on Netflix and watch the entire movie, or here is what I see when I search for it on Glass:
If you’re still wondering who Dave Stoller is, he’s the main character of “Breaking Away”. The IU School of Education put on a great event and I met some great pre-service teachers that I’m sure will make an impact when they get in the classroom.
What do you think our classrooms will look like when wearable technologies begin finding their way in?