Google Glass

Tech GEARS Overall Score
2 out of 4 stars
University of Idaho
Screenshot for Google Glass

Google Glass, a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display, represents a new breed of technology. A user wears the glass on his/her head and a display pops up in the top right corner of his/her eye. Google Glass is hands-free and voice-activated and features bluetooth, wifi, GPS, speakers, a camera, a microphone, and a touch pad. Glass captures pictures and 720HD videos, which are stored on its 12GB of internal storage. Google Glass is running even when the display isn't activated making it always ready to voice-activate. Some features of Google Glass include, but are not limited to, taking pictures, recording videos, checking weather, checking a calendar, using Google search, and joining Google Hangouts. Users can also listen to music, use turn by turn navigation, and dictate texts. 

At $1,500 and only available through the explorer program, Google Glass is not yet ready to be a large-scale initiative within education. However, even just a pair of these glasses can transform multiple educational practices. With the first person point of view and capability to live-video chat, Glass can transform the way teacher mentoring and observations work. Additionally, the first-person point of view can show someone's life through a never-seen-before perspective, which could benefit students with special needs and ESL students. Additionally, the first-person point of view can benefit the way hands-on lessons and experiments are conducted in the classroom, as a teacher can record his/her own walkthrough of an experiment. Although Glass is expensive and there is a steep learning curve to operate the device to its fullest potential, the opportunities that Glass provides cannot be overlooked. 

Tech GEARS Area Scores

Technology General Educational Application Rating System (Tech GEARS) Area Scores
CriterionRatingDescription
Compatibility CM The technology is generally compatible with existing infrastructure and practices, but care should be taken to ensure that implementation addresses problem areas.
Relative Advantage RA The technology has some promise for improving efficiencies or transforming educational practice for the better, but care will need to be taken in establishing expected outcomes and evaluating impact.
Sustainability ST The technology is generally sustainable over a reasonable length of time, but steps should be taken to address problem areas and to protect the technology against damage or failure.
Scalability SC The technology is capable of scaling beyond the classroom level, but care should be taken to address problem areas and to create supports for diffusion.
Glass averages on all areas because of great potential for it within education combined with the expense, difficulty of making it large-scale, and steep learning curve of the device.

Tech GEARS Detailed Item Analysis

Tech GEARS Detailed Item Analysis
CriterionRatingDescription
Accessibility The technology's design prevents some individuals from being able to effectively use it, and add-on features and adjustments do not adequately compensate for this lack of accessibility.
Classroom-Friendliness The technology might work well in existing K-12 classroom cultures with minor cultural adjustments.
Cost - Add-Ons The technology will not require add-on items to effectively support learning.
Cost - Initial The technology costs significantly more than other brands of the same type of product.
Efficiency It is likely that the technology will improve efficiencies.
Flexibility The technology type is designed for a fairly narrow purpose but has some flexibility for new uses.
Infrastructural Compatibility The technology will function within existing infrastructures, but will require significant leniency, adjustments, or autonomy to do so.
Lifespan The technology would be expected to last less longer than three (3) years in a typical K-12 classroom setting wherein it was used daily.
Management Ease It would take a tech-savvy classroom teacher to effectively manage this technology.
Measurable Outcomes The technology could be used to improve student learning on measurable outcomes, but could also be used for a variety of other purposes that may not be seen as educationally valuable (or at least measurable).
Management Scale A single administrator must manage technology users individually to be effective.
Security With significant effort, the technology can be made to comply with FERPA and other privacy requirements and to utilize industry standards of information security.
Tranformational Value It is somewhat likely that the technology will transform school or classroom cultures in valuable ways.
User-Friendliness The technology is generally easy to use but may have a significant learning curve.
Zeitgeist The technology is of great interest to the larger culture (as evidenced in widespread adoption, media coverage, etc.).
Google Glass represents a new breed of technology, one that, though there are still problems to work out, can transform many educational practices. Glass's steep learning curve makes it less accessible and classroom friendly at first, which impairs its ability to be efficient and flexible.
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