Center for Digital Education & Converge: research in education technology for K-12 and higher education

Is Google Glass Worth the Risk in Education?

on September 19, 2013

Google Glass gives users a hands-free way to take pictures, record videos and share on social media. But will this eyewear really work in education?

"So people are really critical of Glass, and I think that's fabulous 'cause we're saying,'What is this, why do we have it, and what are we going to do with it?' And that's what needs to happen in our schools too," said Andrew Vanden Heuvel, a science teacher at Michigan Virtual School. "We don't all need iPads. We need to think, "What do I need?" because what am I trying to get my kids to do. And that's what the conversation needs to be about."

He uses Google Glass in education to make learning more exciting for his online students.

"So I've started STEMbite, which are just these bite-sized videos that I make around my house to teach math and science," Vanden Heuvel said. "But what's cool about it is that it's not just a dude writing on a board. It's like, 'Let me go out and show you these seeds in my backyard and talk about the science of it.' So I'm not trying to like teach the lesson so much as inspire and motivate people to want to learn more."

While trying new technology is risky, it's worth the risk if it helps students learn.

"Not enough teachers are really experimenting, so just doing small experiments, it's new for the kids," Vanden Heuvel said. "And it shows that you can take risks, and you can screw up, and you know what, we're going to learn."

"I want to help them see how amazing our universe really is, and if Google Glass is what gets them to pay attention, and then they see how amazing our universe is, then I'm happy."


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