Have you seen Google glass yet? They remind me of something straight out of a James Bond movie or maybe something that one of the Jetsons’ would have had. Heck the Jetsons’ had an iPad (Televiewer), Skype/Facetime (VideoChat), IRobot Ruumba (robot vacuum) and a few other devices that we actually have today. Yet. they also strangely remind me of the days in school when the “cool” kids would call the “other” kids with glasses, “four eyes” I don’t know why.. they just do. BUT IF they become apart of class curriculum and the norm for students/educators to wear … then well maybe “Four Eyes” will be the ultimate compliment…. hmmm I doubt it because I have already heard quite a few nasty names for people who are wearing the Glass!
So what is Google Glass? Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display that is being developed by Google. It is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone built into a “glasses style” headset frame with 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The device puts data in your field of vision (upper right side) using display technology (prism screen) without obstructing your field of vision. Users can display information hands free in a smart phone format, and interact with the internet using natural voice commands. Essentially any function that requires you to look at a screen can be put in front of you using the device. You can control the device by voice commands or using the track pad on the right arm of the glass. The camera can either be controlled by voice or by tapping a button.
What is so cool about it and what does it do? The cool factor is that you wear the Glass on your head and everything you do and see can be controlled by voice. Check out the video below to see it for yourself.
- Photos and Videos: The camera can take 5MP pictures and shoot video at 720p pictures and video.
- Video Conferencing: Aside from capturing snapshots and videos glass owners can use Google Hangout to video conference with others.
- Email/Text Messages/Voice mail– You can view your Gmail messages, text messages and phone calls. You can respond to them using Google’s Voice to Text functionality.
- Maps/Turn-by-Turn Directions: You can use Google Maps to get directions, but for GPS the Glass needs to be paired with an Android phone and the MyGlass app.
- Screencast – You can create a screencast to let others see what you see through Glass.
- Reminders: You can set Glass to remind you of things on your calendar
- Weather: Similar to a widget on an android phone, Glass can deliver the current weather
So how does this translate to classroom? Students? Educators? There are multiple ways that students and educators can use Glass, however the initial question is how easy they will be to adopt. Whether or not Glass becomes mainstream will come down to the cost of the device (expensive at $1500), privacy issues, and each school’s rules on what type of devices are allowed in the classroom.
Last week, I started to brainstorm some of the ways Glass could be used in the classroom. In the middle of my brainstorm I received an email with this very cool Infographic below that captures many of the ideas on my list and more. Honestly, many of them can already be done using other devices, but the augmented reality applications are pretty cool. Plus there are uses that haven’t even been dreamed up yet.
You should also check out the STEMbite Channel on YouTube by Andrew Vanden Heuvel an advanced physics teacher. He is one of several teachers who are part of the Google Glass Explorer program. He has created and entire collection of bite-size physic video lessons from a unique first-person perspective through Google Glass.
Also be sure to check out Professor Josh’s experience with Glass!