How can Google Glass have an impact in K-12 classrooms?

Google-GlassIn February, education futurist Jason Ohler discussed a number of trends that would have a big impact on education in 2014. One of these predictions included the rise of bring your own device (BYOD), and as an offset of that trend, wear your own device (WYOD).

Google Glass, a wearable technology product from Google introduced with much fanfare, is now being used in some classrooms. Google Glass is operated by voice commands, which direct the technology to call up information, and the device also has recording and photo capabilities.

A unique feature of Google Glass is its facial recognition technology, which allows teachers to look at students and take attendance, creating a database to access each student’s academic record just by looking at them.

(Next page: Learning opportunities through Google Glass)

Google Glass provides new opportunities for language learning, too. It features Google Translator, which allows the student to translate texts immediately. By making translations more accessible, the new technology could change the way students and teachers approach language learning and may encourage more students to invest in learning a new language.

Margaret Powers, a technology coordinator at a private school near Philadelphia, is beta testing Google Glass in her classroom and is keeping a blog to share her experiences.

One of the things she found was that teachers can wear the device and record their lectures while they’re teaching—making room for professional development as they review and improve upon their instruction, and also creating records for students who may be absent on a given day.

Powers also used Google Glass to let students record their activities while working on a project. This gives the teacher the unique opportunity to see the student’s perspective. Seeing how a student works first hand, and learning more about their individual processes, opens new doors in the way of personalized learning.

Moreover, Google Glass provides new opportunities for creating visually-stimulating presentations, webinar screenings, and out-of-class learning opportunities.

A drawback to this new technology is that for all the benefits it provides, it also brings with it new kinds of distractions. While wearing the device, students can pull up anything from around the web on it’s the device’s tiny screens, allowing them to look at what’s in front of them while also accessing whatever they need from the internet.

This kind of access could draw students’ attention away from what is happening in class, according to some critics.

Want to see what other people are doing with Google Glass? Follow the hashtag #GlassEdExplorers on Twitter.

Sydney Mineer is an eSchool News editorial intern.

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