Is Google Glass the future of education?
While reviews have been mixed — PCMag compares it to the oft-maligned Segway — there seems to be a real potential for its use in education. Here are just a few of the ways Google Glass can be incorporated into classrooms in the coming years.
Google Glass boasts a 5-megapixel digital camera and can take 720p video at the blink of an eye. Consider the possibilities for a moment: teachers sharing documents, images, and audio instantly with their class, as well as the potential for students to do the same. An art teacher can demonstrate the process used to paint a still life, or a history teacher can take an entire class on a digital field trip.
Once great example is that of Advanced Physics teacher Andrew Vanden Heuvel. He was offered a tour of CERN in Switzerland, and used Google Glass to live broadcast it back to his class in Michigan. This is undoubtedly a learning experience that his students will never forget.
These advantages aren’t just limited to K-12. Higher Education has just as much to benefit from this kind of technology. Doctors have already used Google Glass to record complicated surgeries, giving medical students a chance to learn in first-person. A pharmacy tech school professor could give students a peek into a typical day in a pharmacy and patient care. These advances in technology are already making a mark on healthcare through innovative teaching techniques.
Some students have great difficulty speaking up in class to ask questions, but Google Glass opens the potential of SMS messages sent directly to a Glass-wearing teacher, allowing them to address additional concerns or questions of students in real time. This can also work for students who might not be in the physical classroom.
Google Glass could give educators an advantage in and out of the classroom. With the built-in webcam functionality of Google Glass, the possibilities of remote education evolve tremendously. Educators could give one-on-one tutorial sessions, or open up special workshops for struggling students through Google Plus Hangouts, and even invite educators from around the world to join in at any time.
Additionally, Google Glass’s recording functionality turns it into a powerful assessment tool. When students are giving presentations, interviews, speeches and other oral assignments, educators can record the presentations and then play it back with each student. Not only does this allow students to better understand the teacher’s critique, it provides a valuable opportunity for self assessment and discovery.
Not every student or educator can physically attend class. Augmented reality creates a digital learning space where educators and students around the world can learn, breaking down many of the walls preventing students from attending school. As the future unfolds, classrooms have an opportunity to create a new paradigm for education and the classroom.
One thing remains clear, this technology has powerful implications.
By Grant Smith
Grant is a high school educator with a background in technology. He writes about tech, digital education and more in his spare time.