Google Glass Reflection and Reaction

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Google Glass Reflection:

In the first few days, I made it a point to wear Google Glass all day at school (…well as much as the battery life permitted). My main point was to get used to the feel of them on my head, to increase my fluency. (Happy to report that my initial complaint of this lack of fluency after the first week  with Google Glass is dissipating. As with most technology devices and apps, it just takes time to get used to tapping instead of clicking, winking instead of pushing the button… speaking a new language to have my voice recognized…. swiping next to my temple instead of a mouse pad…:)

Wearing Google Glass all day, also allowed me to consciously make decisions on the fly, if I could use the device in certain situations (teachable moment, planning with a colleague, interesting discussion, worthwhile visual, googlable moment etc.).

As I am walking into more and more classrooms with Google Glass on (with permission from the teacher), I make sure that I spend a few minutes in the beginning to TALK to students about

  • what Google Glass is?…wearable technology, a mini- internet enabled device on my head… it is a device still in beta TESTING, which means that it is not perfect…does not work all the time the way I want it to work.
  • where did I get it… I received a beta-invite to the Google Explorer program from Google… it is not available to be purchased by the public yet.
  • why me?… I believe (maybe wishful thinking?),  I was chosen for the program as an educator and due to my philosophy of sharing my learning process.
  • what is an explorer?…An explorer is a person who explores unfamiliar territory; someone with imagination, a mindset of an adventurer.  According to Google: ” The Explorer Program is designed for people who want to get involved early and help shape the future of Glass.” I want to be a model for our learning community to be an explorer, an innovator and a shaper of how we can use technology to transform learning.
  • what are my goals and intentions?… my goals are to test Google Glass in school for education to improve teaching and learning. I want to find ways to use new technologies to find ways to transform our teaching and learning experiences. (Watch for an upcoming blog post about using Google Glass for filming at school). I want to make students and teachers aware of the implication of “disruptive technology” and spark conversation…
  • what I will NOT use Google Glass for?… I am not “policing” anyone… I am not taking videos in class to “catch” students anyone doing something wrong. I am not taking pictures in order to embarrass anyone…
  • my promise to observe digital citizenship… I will always ask permission to record or take an image… I will not share potentially embarrassing captured moments. I will observe a “no questions asked” policy of someone not feeling comfortable being recorded or photographed and I will take of my Google Glass if a teacher or student is uncomfortable around them.

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I  found it awkward in certain situations to continue having Google Glass on my head as I was continuing my field test.

  1. Cafeteria– I was there to eat… some colleagues at the table felt uncomfortable (unspoken feeling)… There was no need to wear Google Glass for the remote possibility of stopping a conversation and saying “Hey let me google that on my Glass”… It would not have felt fluid, but disruptive to the conversation (maybe just as disruptive, if I pulled out my iPhone to google something)… so as I have not found a need to use Glass during lunch, I make it a point to not even bring it into the cafeteria.
  2. Rest room– Yes, you read correctly… There comes a time during the day, ( even) if you are wearing Google Glass, that you will need to go to the rest room. I was not even thinking about the Google Glass on my head, when I entered. As soon as I saw that others were in the restroom , I felt that it was completely inappropriate for me to be wearing Google Glass (even in the turned off stage). I immediately disappeared in one of the stalls and closed the door (I don’t think anyone had noticed them on my head). Then the feeling of ” privacy invasion” increased when I thought of the possibility of Glass taking an accidental image and sharing it with my Google Plus circle. Not a good feeling… Where was I supposed to place my Google Glass when I “have to go”. I am making it a point to go to my office and dropping them off before heading to the “little girls’ room”
  3. 1:1 Teacher planning–  as teachers and I meet and plan together, I NEED a device to write notes, search, demonstrate, share resources and examples on the spot. My iPad is the first choice of device to take to those meetings. I am able to listen to a teacher and multitask by looking up examples or resources of interets at the same time to be able to share or project. It seemed awkward to use Google Glass to look  up any links. There was no way for me to instantly show the teacher (I am still not fluent enough to set up the scree share through my iPhone. Even then the iPad’s bigger screen seems to be a preferred solution. The lack of being able to take “silent” notes (to be shared later) in order to not interrupt the flow of the conversation also makes it impossible to rely on Google Glass to be the only device to bring to the planning meeting. It seemed silly and awkward to have both devices with me when the iPad was able to do the job for all my needs.

Looking for more reflection and perspective on Google Glass in schools? Head on over to our school‘s High School principal, Blair Peterson ‘s blog as he also reflects in a recent blog post titled How is your school handling Google Glass?

Google Glass Reactions:

Student Reactions
I spoke about the overwhelming range of reactions of colleagues during the first week  with Google Glass in school. The images below will speak for themselves of students’ reactions when trying on Google Glass. They continue to line up when they see me roam the hallways during their breaks. I have to chase them away so, they won’t be late for their next classes. Some of them had heard about Google Glass and were very knowledgeable about specific capabilities that the wanted to test out. Most of them were simply in awe of seeing the screen and being able to give voice commands and scroll though the timeline. Most heard comments were “Wow”, “This is awesome”, “Where can I get one”, “I will save money”, “This is incredible”…

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Other Reactions:
Teachers and parents have voiced their concerns about privacy issue with Google Glass on campus. We need to have an open conversation, we need transparency in the intended use of Google Glass in educational spaces.

We need to balance fears with the desire to MODEL AND BE INNOVATIVE, to “boldly go where no one has gone before”…

We need to balance fears fueled by main stream media about the negative reactions. (Traffic Ticket for driving with Google Glass Facial Recognition via Google Glass, Going to the Movies. Interrogated by FBI for Wearing Google Glass.)

We need to balance fears with positive reports and documentation of how these technologies are making our lives better and can improve learning and innovation. (Google tests Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics, The Future of Education Seen Through Google Glass, 365 Days with Glass )

Take a look at the article “New Privacy Menace? Cell Phones?” from Wired Magazine from 2003 (yes 11 years ago). The article was shared via my PLN on Twitter and we were asked to simply substitute the word “cell phone” with Google Glass. It looks like we had the SAME concerns about cell phones and their potential to invade our privacy as we do now with wearable technology such as Google Glass