It looks like a streamlined pair of glasses, but in functionality, it resembles Bluetooth technology with a phone. Wearing it, you see with one eye, a tiny screen, which is asleep unless you use your voice to unlock it by saying “OK, Glass.” And then, through this wearable piece of technology called Google Glass, the world unfolds before you, through a series of voice commands and by tapping the side of the glass frame. Swiping to the left and right transports you to different “cards” or screens with information.
“Only the wearer can see this small screen, but through use of smart phones or by projecting onto larger screens, others can enjoy information on these cards, “says David Soliday, instructional technologist in Ohio Wesleyan’s Information Services office. Displaying the one Google Glass on campus being used for demonstrations and learning opportunities, Soliday describes the many available commands for users. From taking photos, recording videos, making calls, and playing music to obtaining directions, playing games, posting updates to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, to translating words into other languages, the potential of this technology is just beginning to be realized. Brainstorming sessions have resulted in the following possible ideas for using Google Glass by members of the OWU community:
- Taking videos of campus events such as Day on the Jay
- Recording experiences during Travel-Learning and Theory-to-Practice projects
- Capturing exciting moments during major OWU events such as Alumni Weekend and Commencement
- Recording students creating art, music, and laboratory techniques
- Wearing by student athletes during practices
- Creating “Day in the Life” videos
- Bringing a class along on a virtual field trip, with someone wearing Glass
Co-designed by Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity, Google Glass offers an Explorer’s Program which now is available to select buyers who will develop additional applications.
“We are exploring what some of the educational uses by faculty and staff members might be while also working closely with students,” says Soliday, who advises checking OWU’s Self Help web site at helpdesk.owu.edu/web/google/google-glass for more information, and to see a reservation calendar.
“Wearable technologies will have an impact on higher education in the next three to five years,” says Brian Rellinger, chief information officer in OWU’s Information Services office. “At OWU, we are strategically exploring technologies that may enhance the teaching and learning process. Glass has been received positively by faculty, staff, and students, and we are excited about the possibilities.”