Taking Classes with Google Glasses: Wearable Computers and Higher Education

Ok Glass, show me the future.

With the first set of Google’s shiny new specs being sent out to the handful of lucky applicants, it’s only a matter of time before students and instructors end up with a pair over their eyes in a class.  And while it’s tempting to label the lenses as just another distraction akin to smartphones, there might be some real use out there for these things, as well as some real risks.  Let’s brainstorm!

  • First-person lecture-capturing is the first thing that comes to my mind.  An instructor could show students an experience first-hand—imagine watching a pre-lab instructional video from the point of view of an expert, or the feeling of being right in the middle of an intense discussion.  Of course, there’s always the risk of students using Glass to record lectures when they shouldn’t, but at least they’ll have to announce their intentions via voice-command to do so!
  • Speaking of labs, why not strap on a  “Safety Glass” for easy recording?  Students using wearable computers could easily record and share data and reactions.  The best part, however?  Being able to record without pressing a button or holding up a camera!
  • For those of us with poor memory, Glass has the potential to bring up notes while maintaining eye contact.  Some may find it distracting to have text hovering at the corner of your vision—other instructors could see some real use in having notes delegated to the corner of their eye rather than having Powerpoint or written notes.
  •  Glass can add a new element to distance learning—much like the lecture capture concept above, Glass’s live video chat feature allows an instructor to give a lecture from anywhere.  Need to write out something?  Just grab a piece of paper!

I think it goes without saying that the technology isn’t a boon for every instructor and student, and I shudder to think of the effects of a Glass video on someone with motion sickness.  However, it’s certainly not something to ignore.  What creative things can you imagine doing with a computerized pair of glasses?

Learn about Google Glass here: http://www.google.com/glass/start/

5 thoughts on “Taking Classes with Google Glasses: Wearable Computers and Higher Education

  1. Hi, you’ve got some really interesting ideas for using Google Glass in educational settings! I hadn’t thought of these ways but I have been learning everything I can about Glass. I started thinking about ways to use Glass in school as well and maybe you can tell me what you think of my ideas:

    How about sharing notes, lectures & videos with my study group members?

    Shoot Glass videos to use in my own presentations.

    Glass will make doing research for a report or paper, for example, easier and faster by using the web browser.

    Keep track of and build my college portfolio.

    Create training videos on the fly by making videos of new technology with Glass and then sharing it or selling it.

    Could also create instructional videos of how to use Glass and sell or share them.

    What do you think?

  2. The first thing to do would be to assess if these glasses are completely safe for health, especially for our eyes.

    One nice thing I would like to be able to do with them would be zooming. Let’s says you see something interesting far away. You put your glasses on and, magic, they zoom on the point of interest. Anyway, my opinion that with this kind of technology, only sky is the limit.

  3. interesting topic and novel idea and something that will probably happen in the near future (glass learning) given the pace of change


  4. I like this new option with the Google Glasses because you can capture all the details at the classes and will help you a lot. Also you can share them with your colleagues, that’s a helpful opportunity to don’t forget the lessons at school.

  5. I love the idea of capturing video without the necessity to be distracted through holding up a camera; you literally just forget about it.
    But perhaps the most exciting thing is that the technology helps to make location of learning less important. A student/lecturer/professor could capture something of interest whilst they are in the act and then share with their peers.
    We recently wrote a post about what this means for businesses and the same points are relevant for learning environments: