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July 29, 2014

#ETTSummit Live Blog: Courtney Pepe – 60 Days of Google Glass in the Class: My Adventures with Wearable Technology from Beth Holland
"I don't teach for the classroom of yesterday. I don't teach for the classroom of today. I teach for the classroom of tomorrow." Begins Courtney. She begins by talking about Google Glass and iBeacon as "tools of today" that she is trying to leverage for the context of tomorrow. Courtney teaches at risk high school students, and was invited to use Google Glass. As a beginning point, she decided to work Google Glass into the behavior plan - those who had good behavior could serve as a glass explorer.

"Each new device potentially removes barriers that used to prevent students from working collaboratively in a digital world and creates more of a culture of embeddedness." - Dr. Ruben Puentedura

With Google Glass, though it was disruptive and caused cognitive dissonance, it also freed them up to have a new interaction with technology. Courtney thought about her Glassroom through the lens of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory. The interesting things that worked well with Google Glass didn't come from the apps that were pre-loaded onto the device, but with the ones that were "side-loaded" or hacked into place. By empowering students to apply mathematical and logical reasoning, particularly via coding, Courtney was able to provide enrichment activities for a number of her students. As Courtney had her students working on Google Glass, particularly during the last week of school, the other kids were lining up at the door to see what they were working on. This was incredibly empowering for her at-risk students who might have otherwise not been engaging.

Conference Party Tricks

Using a combination of Bluetooth, Augmented Reality, and Sphero, Courtney drove her robot ball around the room. While this may seem like a simple activity, the amount of coding and mathematical-logical reasoning that goes into it is quite astounding. She tied this back to Jean Piaget's theory of "play."

The Device Smash

Courtney gave her students a final project to create a persuasive project to argue for or against releasing Charles Manson from prison. The students could use any apps to create their products. One student used Google Glass to pull up the sheet music to Helter Skelter. This converted an app smash of any iPad products to create something new into a device smash that the students used to demonstrate their learning. In Courtney's gifted and talented class, all of the students wanted to use the Glasses. To solve this issue, Courtney came up with the Device Smash. Students could mirror the Glasses through Reflector on computer to show what they were seeing to the entire class.
  1. Students could watch the "Glass Explorer" to play a game
  2. They captured what happened and then created screencast problems
  3. The final videos are being curated into a book via iBooks Author

Why Google Glass

Courtney feels that Glass is a great way to stimulate the curiosity of early adopters. Another interesting argument comes from an MIT study that shows higher brain function while sleeping than in class. Another interesting argument is to explore "the culture of the now" and ask how we can adjust our practice to suit their needs. Attention span is shorter. Students are more fluid in their access to technology, and they do better with smaller tasks. With Google Glass, students can rapidly access information, speak their notes, and then have it automatically sync the information to Drive. This is a great way to differentiate instruction for a number of students.

Generation Z students are not tech-saavy, they are tech-innate.

Courtney continued by talking about how easily students picked up on using Google Glass. There was a minimal learning curve. One of the major changes in Courtney's class had to do with the kinesthetic culture. The tactile nature of students interacting with content shifts with wearable computing. Rather than holding devices, or touching, or swiping, it becomes about talking and looking. Another example came from the app EduScan. Courtney could scan something with the Glasses, have it either emailed or saved directly to Google Drive, and then shared with others. This could potentially improve the ways in which we share and communicate - particularly with parents. Another great app is EduTeach. It creates a live stream from the classroom that will automatically stream video for others to be able to view as a recording or LIVE. Without having to hold a device or access a camera, the classroom experience can be streamed straight through the glasses. Finally, Courtney showed EduStream - an app to play PowerPoint while "hands free." This means that the teacher now has both hands, can control the projection, and also isn't tethered to the front of the room.

Power of the PLN (Personal Learning Network)

One of the challenges that Courtney faced was getting help and learning from others. To find support, she reached out to others via Twitter and Google+ to create an online support community. She recommends the eduglasses.com community to get started.

What's next?

Courtney is working on a few new tools for the future:
  • Google Glass could coordinate with iBeacon to create more rich learning experiences.
  • Google Glass could interact with screencasting apps to support recording in new ways.