Monday, April 28, 2014

The Glass Experience

Before I dive into anything in particular I'll give you a little background on me.  I am a Tech Ed teacher at Northland Pines High School in Eagle River, WI.  I was recently offered an opportunity to try Google Glass for a few weeks, both in and out of the classroom.  I've been thinking about trying my hand at blogging to showcase and discuss all things Tech Ed, and the Glass opportunity gave me a great reason to start.

Dave Strong, a Tech Coach at Northland Pines, purchased Google Glass as part of his professional development.  He wore it into my classroom one day and we had a fairly brief conversation about it.  He mentioned a couple ways it could be used for Tech Ed and that was the extent of the discussion.  However, he really got the wheels turning in my head and within a few days I was asking him for some extended time with Glass.  He gladly said yes and we set up a rough timetable for my scheduled Glass use.  Ann Perry, a Science teacher in the district, was first in line with me waiting for her finish her trial.  Today is Monday and last Friday she delivered the new technology to my classroom.  (Check out Dave and Ann's thoughts and opinions of Glass here.)

I have had Google Glass in my possession now for four days.  I don't have a lot to say just yet, maybe just some initial observations.  What I'm going to follow with might make me sound a bit negative, but I think that's just how I work with new things, so bear with me I still have almost two weeks left to utilize Glass. Hopefully I can come back in a week or so and defend each of the thoughts below.

I didn't mention it to Dave and am going to probably have to hide from him after he reads this, but I am not good historically with sunglasses.  I go through them rapidly.  I scratch them.  I break them.  I lose them. I am terrified of breaking Google Glass.  They really seem like they are flimsy and fragile.  I am handling them like, well...Glass.

I'm a Tech Ed teacher.  Most of my day is spent with safety glasses on.  Dave's purchase included a tinted lens but no clear lens.  Google sells a clear lens for Glass but I don't know if they would be approved safety glasses anyway.  So I'm working on modifying an old pair of safety glasses lens to work on Glass.  (Not sure about OSHA approval, hopefully they don't read this.)

Average Everyday Use
After four days of using Glass here and there, my first reaction is this.  They are an awesome novelty that will do what my smart phone will do.  Actually I found my smartphone easier to use initially.  Now keep in mind that is an initial reaction.  I hope I change my mind on this opinion, and if I don't I might have to consider this experiment a failure on my part.

Future Plans
I have some unique plans in the next few weeks that will provide plenty of opportunities to use Glass.  I am a Skills USA advisor at Northland Pines and we have our State Leadership and Skills Conference first thing tomorrow.  I have a turkey tag this coming weekend and the following weekend is a fishing weekend (open water hopefully).  I have some great activities going on in several different classes and I also coach track and field.  Plenty of opportunities to take advantage of and utilize Glass.  Stay tuned.