Google Glass (a wearable media creation device) in the long run, may not be the next greatest “Thing” in education or anywhere, but it may start us thinking about ideas beyond what we’ve been doing—and get us thinking about what we could be doing. There are some educators, with creative sparks of invention, who can light up a room with possibilities—and you may be lucky enough to know and work with some. Their brains are already churning in the future-think mode, and they are already primed for something like Glass. Some of them have already been chosen to experiment with Google Glass in Project Glass.
Glass may not change the classroom, but educators being a part of these Glass Explorer groups may spark ideas that will. Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s line about jumping off the cliff and attaching the wings on the way down comes to mind.
Wouldn’t it be brilliant to walk into a classroom and be connected with all the software and hardware… and kids with their new tablets? And yes, connect with an educator in a different part of the world through Glass, and have images and video show up on those classroom devices. Or when looking at a student, to see his/her recent school achievements, daily class updates, and comments from other teachers. That would help with up-to-date information, which would help create specific on-the-fly questions and points to make for that particular student. Administrators could do classroom walk-throughs and educator observations—with eyes wide open because there would be no typing at a keyboard or scratching with a pen during the visit. Think of the ease with which you could walk around a classroom, teaching hands-free, stopping to chat with students—all the while controlling everything digitally from behind your Glass and not your desk. Is it just talk for dreamers? Possibly not—it could be reality, and educators might be the right visionaries to help make those wearables school useful and education friendly.
Any piece of hardware, no matter how cool, is only as good as what it can do using software, apps, cloud, media experiences, and more—for right now. We may not be there yet, but we may be closer to an experience where educators and students will walk into a learning environment—be enveloped—and become ubiquitously part of it. It’s not about the wearables, but more about the transformation of the learning environment for students and educators. We’re headed for learning spaces where productivity and knowledge can’t be blocked by walls—unseen or physical.