Google Glass and the Classroom

google glass in action

Google Glass is an innovative new wearable technology that has captured the imagination of people all over the world. As of yet, functionality is still fairly basic, but with expected improvements to the integration of Glass with many of Google’s popular productivity apps, as well as the opening up of development to third party app makers, there is no telling how much of an impact Glass will make in our daily lives.

google glass in action
While Google’s revolutionary technology is poised to change numerous different aspects of our lives, many are interested in how it can change education, especially with new technology in the classroom becoming more prevalent.

 

The Good

  • Study aids – Flash card programs are already common place on smart phones and tablets. Google Glass will inevitably have its own variety of such apps that allow the user to easily flip through cards with the flick of an eye, or perhaps with a correct answer spoken out loud. Coupled with voice recognition technology it could provide a great way to practice pronunciation of a foreign language, and possibly be able to translate on the fly.
  • Note taking – Google Glass allows for the ability to take pictures simply by winking your eye. It allows for the recording of video, which could be useful for recording demonstrations in class, and possibly for getting feedback from the teacher as to what went wrong with a student’s experiment. It will be able to transcribe notes, freeing up the students’ hands to do any number of things.

The Bad

  • Cheating – One of the biggest concerns about Glass is the possibility that it could be used for cheating. However, this might not be a problem for a number of reasons, the simplest if which is that the Glass is so visible. At least at this juncture in its development it would be far too easy for a teacher to spot if a student is using Glass.
  • Privacy issues – One of the most controversial aspects of Glass surrounds its ability to record video and take pictures hands free. Yes, this makes it super convenient to use, but at the same time it raises issues for those people who don’t want to be filmed. They should be allowed to have their privacy. This is a big one for the classroom as many teachers do not feel comfortable having their class taped. Teachers are often under a lot of scrutiny for how they behave with our kids, and this can be a good thing. Also, any video of a class would also include the other students in the class. They also have their right to privacy.

New technology has faced similar situations in the past, such as with the advent of the camera phone. While people are worried about it now, it is something that will work itself out in the future as wearable technologies become more commonplace.
Google Glass is right around the corner, and it isn’t a question of whether it will be in the classroom, but when. With the innovative spirit of Google and the many app developers behind it, there is no telling what kind of impact Glass will make on the world of education.