Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scratching My Glass

My last post was a small introduction of Josh Fuller to the Google Glass team at Northland Pines.  As promised, he's started his blog and I will provide a link to each of his postings.

Josh's Blog

It's important to note that, in his blog, he mentions Glass and damage and worries about the device.  This is a great point to think about since so much of the time I'm hearing people talk about the value of this and the worry about breaking that.  I'm not condoning dangerous or reckless behavior, but I am saying use it.  No authentic data has been gathered through bubble wrap.

I accept the risk associated with letting others use the device.  I maintain that it is just a device.  While the price tag is hefty, it's much smaller than the waste of a resource sitting in a drawer.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Tech Specs

Friday Ann turned over Google Glass to Josh, a technology education teacher at the high school.  I'm excited for Josh to try them out and give feedback.  Josh has opted to create his own blog but I will be sure to connect the links to this blog so you can read all about it.

I've taken a little time to reflect on the growing communities of Glass wearers in the world.  Specifically, there are more and more communities that focus on education that are popping up, getting together and sharing the experience with others.  This is mirrored in the non-education world of Glass as well.  Communities are forming, like Harley riders or Jeep owners.  They're taking pride in ownership and uniqueness.

Is this furthering education?  I certainly hope so.  It's hard to tell.  I predict this year's round of education and tech conferences are going to feature more and more Google Glass.  I hope to see this spur the industry into providing a variety of apps that are designed to help Glass improve instruction or accessibility or something.

Anyway, after talking to Josh I'm hopeful he's going to geek out like the rest of us and show us some truly unique, interesting and engaging ways to use Glass.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Final Glass

So I was charging Glass and needed to return a phone call to a community member about a service project our students partake in next month. I pulled out my cell phone (my school phone tends to cut out or lose charge at critical moments) and dialed up. To my surprise the call was picked up by Glass and I had to scramble to toss Glass on my face so I could take care of the call - now I know that I could make calls from Glass so that wasn't surprising, but the fact that I initiated a call from my cell but it was completed (taken over really) by Glass did take me by surprise.

The attempt to sit in with another teacher and work on using Glass with dissections never panned out with schedule changes and snow days. Perhaps the other teacher will also get a crack at Glass yet this year. Yesterday however, my anatomy students were working through a vocabulary jig saw activity and I used Glass to record the sharing of definitions etc.

It's long, and shaky, but you can see the video here.

This was shared on the student resource page and allows the students to go back anytime they need to review the terminology. It was a bit novel as normally, I'd have the definitions posted on a document, but this time the students have something more entertaining to watch!  As it stands, I'm turning over Glass today to Josh. So this morning I factory reset Glass, plugged it in so he has it fully charged and will deliver it to him before the end of the day. Good Luck Josh and I can't even begin to thank Dave enough for getting me in on the whole Glass experience!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Doing Things Half Glassed!

Wish I could have used the title "Kickin' Glass and Takin' Names" for this post but I think that implies that Glass has been glued to my head and at the forefront of most of my work recently. And it hasn't  - hence my feeling like I'm doing it half-glassed. Also, I said in my first post that I couldn't think of great "Glass" puns and titles - yeah, still can't. I can't even take credit for either post title here, they're the work of my husband who I'm sure could rant out another 10 or so if I gave him half a chance. Oh well - onward...

So as I posted last time, I was really excited to use Glass to screencast from my point of view. My classroom is equipped with a projector and AppleTV. I had everything up and running first thing last Tuesday morning and lo and behold, the screen cast played sideways (half-glassed)! I believe this has to do with the fact that I'm using an iPhone with Glass and the phone doesn't AirPlay but my iPad does and it only has an iPhone app which makes it play sideways as it won't orient correctly. For that class, I ended up taking off Glass, holding the frame sideways so the video was upright and went through my demo. All said and done, I simply used the iPad camera to AirPlay to the screen for the remainder of my classes that day - much simpler. I still feel that the live screencast would be much more valuable when you need to be 100% hands free and have the correct perspective/point of view. I've been chatting with another biology teacher and I'm going to go into her class tomorrow - get ready for some earthworm dissection! I plan on trying out some of the ideas mentioned in my last post from both the teacher and student perspective.

The rest of last week was pretty much a bust for me and Glass. Wednesday was an out of town funeral and then I came home Wednesday night to 6 inches of snow and magically overnight that 6 inches turned into about 15.

No school Thursday - snow day - April 17th. No school Friday - Good Friday. That week was half glassed.

Over the weekend I did share Glass with my mother (former teacher) and some other relatives, relations and friends. I found an interesting trend. The over 60 year old group kept mentioning big brother and how they "just don't like the idea of it" i.e. that they could be videotaped/under surveillance without their knowledge. The under 45 year old group was for the most part amazed and excited to try it on and check it out. The only nay-sayer in the younger group was my cousin's wife and I think it had more to do with her not wanting him to have any more gadgets as he proclaimed that Glass was all he wanted for his birthday (which was yesterday - and no, he didn't get Glass). I didn't have enough guts to wear Glass at the local drinking establishment one evening over the weekend either - more half glassed attitude from me.

And so here we are, halfway through the last week that I'll have Glass and I'm not sure that I've accomplished anything revolutionary - not that I have to, but I did feel at one point that I would have some epiphany and everything would clarify and roll right out. Don't get me wrong, there have been some great moments, snapshots if you will, but still I have a feeling that I've just done it half glassed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jagged Glass

No, I didn't break the Google Glass (thank goodness)! But, my thoughts are kind of random and jagged and I found myself using Google Glass on and off throughout the weekend, hence the name. Also, my success at implementing some of the features was also hit or miss...

Friday:
Lefties (eyes that is...)
So Friday was the first day I wore glass for an entire day. I was still getting plenty of questions and spent time allowing others to try glass for themselves. One question a student posed was if Google would ever have a left-eye version of Glass. He (and I) are both left eye dominant for shooting sports and the like and it didn't dawn on me until his question that this may be one reason why I felt (feel) eye-strain when wearing Glass. It's gotten better as I wear Glass longer, but when I first put on Glass in the morning, it still takes awhile before my eyes feel comfortable. Some days I can only take 3-4 hours at the most. Currently, it doesn't appear (at least in Explorer phase) that Google plans on a left version, and so some are taking issues into their own hands, wearing Glass upside down.

Demo for Dissection
So I teach anatomy, but most of the dissections in my class are finished. In a neighboring biology classroom however, students are just starting dissections dealing with advanced invertebrates. I discussed using Glass with two students in the midst of a clam dissection and they described their experience and knowledge of clam anatomy. I see a number of potential uses for Glass in this manner.

video

  • Teacher with glass has students explain (as the video shows) - the teacher now has a formative assessment of how the class is progressing. Additionally, the teacher has caught snapshot videos that can be viewed later - this is different than what I do right now. Currently, I have to try and remember what each group struggled with or what their strengths were off the top of my head, with video I can refer back at any time and I know that I can take "regular" video with a phone or iPad, but Glass is much more seamless. 
  • Teacher could run through dissection while recording to give students a point of view demonstration of the technique - the hands free application is better than anything I've tried so far in trying to share this with a full class. 
    • Screencasting this for students to watch would help for students to see during a class.
    • In a flipped classroom, the video could be posted ahead of time for students to preview. 
  • Students could video their own dissection and then use it for review. (I'm going to try and have these young ladies work this out at least once in the next week.)
  • Any video could be posted and shared with students absent for the dissection day, even though there is no replacement for the true lab experience, its a great substitute. 

Brainstorming
My Anatomy classes were working on an activity that helps them differentiate between excretion and elimination (aren't you wishing I was a social studies teacher right now?) and after lots of discussion and debate. We came up with our delineation and a lot of brainstorming on the whiteboard. I've been known in the past to remind students that a great way to remember the conversation is to snap a picture of our "notes" for future reference. Many times, I'll take a picture and post it in our CMS for students to go back to. Well, with Glass I simply told Glass to take a picture and then shared it directly in Google+ with my Anatomy class circle. Pretty cool!

Dance Pictures - Facebook Fail (temporarily!)
After school on Friday my two daughters had pictures for their upcoming dance recital. I wore Glass and took some candids and attempted to post them directly to Facebook (which I do have activated in Glassware). My phone doesn't act as a hotspot and so I had some difficulty posting directly to Facebook Friday without a network, but today when I tested it at home, there was no problem taking a photo from the card stack and sharing it as well as taking a "fresh" photo and posting that directly to Facebook as well. I really liked the ease of captioning a photo/video with voice commands only.

Saturday
Law enforcement conversation
My husband works for the WI DNR as a law enforcement officer and he and I had a long discussion about the potential for Glass in his field. As long as the durability of Glass was increased, he had some ideas, here's a brief rundown...

  • videotaping contacts with the public (think dashcam)
  • crime scene recording for later assessment
  • recording interviews with suspects/witnesses
  • search databases hands-free on the spot (would need secure wifi/glassware)
  • training
    • record training scenarios from contact officer perspective
    • assure consistency during scenario training/testing from one contact officer to the next; this could also save time in training (not having to run each officer through every scenario)
    • allows officers in training a chance to reflect on their performance in varying situations

Sunday
No Glass!

Monday
Screen Cast Fail (until next time)
As I was setting up for class today, one thing I wanted to try was to screencast my view in Glass with the entire class (using AirPlay to broadcast to the "big screen" in my room). I was trying to show something very small (capillary action in a microcapillary tube) to the entire class and screencast would have been helpful. As it was, I found the directions to screencasting (1. Bluetooth to phone and use hotspot or 2. Make sure both devices are on same network). But that was it - no further direction. Now I know that I need to think intuitively, but faced with a class full of students waiting for me to get rolling, I didn't have time to think on my feet. Sitting tonight, it dawned on me that I should have simply started a recording with Glass and then the screencast would "start" on its own. Aha! Tested and working - can't wait to use it tomorrow when I demonstrate setting up chromatography tests with the students tomorrow~

I'm a Mac

Remember that commercial?  Did you feel attached to the hip, comfortable Mac or the stuffy, nervous PC?

I've thought a lot about the earlier post I wrote and it was bothering me that we could be limiting our students and my children by presenting them with technology we're comfortable with rather than allowing them to learn the process, learn the 21st Century skills that involve flexibility and openness to new ideas and comfort with technology.

I'm pushing 40 and identify myself with a generation of transition.  Transitioning from family structures, societal norms and limited thinking.  I grew up in a house where racism, sexism and bigotry were present and, over the years, I transitioned into where I am now: free from that thinking.  I didn't have a computer in my house when I was there; in fact, I didn't get my first one until I was 22.  Now, I own a pair of Google Glass.

I think about the limits some of my peers, my colleagues and even some of my students put on themselves ("I can't use a Mac!") and worry that this narrow thinking is going to be passed along to our children, placing a ceiling on what they strive to understand.

And then my 8 year old did her homework and I did what I do best:  I watched.

"Dad, did you bring your computer home?"

"Why?"

"I'm researching and I want to be able to type."

"Why don't you use the iPad?" (She's taken mine and now it no longer has the sleek black keyboard case but rather an indestructible "girly" case)

"I can't use my home-row keys."

Conversation over.  She retrieved my laptop (Mac) from my backpack and proceeded to go to Chrome, search with the voice-recognition feature and then find out that Mrs. Waffenschmidt was in Italy.  I was floored at her comfort and capability.  I kept my cool.  After all, I'm a Mac.

I realized something as I watched her work.  I realized that she wasn't a Mac or a PC.  She's not a Chromebook or an iPad.  She's a 21st Century learner.  I didn't teach her how to use a Mac vs. a PC.  Granted, she's had technology around her and available for, like, ever.  She has absolutely no hesitation in picking up a piece of technology, any technology, and just using it.  It's not because I put it in her hand and insist on it, it's because she's not afraid.

She's not worried that she's going to break it or lose a file.  She doesn't worry that there's two buttons on the track pad of my wife's PC and none on my computer.  If she can't scroll with two fingers on the pad, then she grabs the scroll bar, clicks and holds and moves down the page.  She does all of this without hesitation and doesn't let something unfamiliar stop her from moving forward.

She's a critical thinker, a problem solver and a learner.

And she's only 8.

Let's all take a lesson from her and from the rest of the children that are digital natives:

Let them go.  Stop putting limits on them because we feel uncomfortable.  Let them go and follow them and learn.

Stop saying "don't do that" and start saying "Wow, I didn't expect that to happen.  I learned something new."

This post wasn't as much about Google Glass as it was about potential.

I'll make a prediction.  At the start of next school year or very close to it, a 9 year old girl will be sporting a pair of Google Glass that used to be mine.

And she'll use them without fear.

And I'll learn from her.

Watch out, Mrs. Waffenschmidt, it's going to be a lot harder to hide from her.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Safety Glass

I've posted before about privacy and concerns associated with Glass and I think, in the education community, we need to be respectful of privacy issues and up-front when we take pictures.  Here's what got me thinking about it:

I was reading a post on the Google Glass in education community on Google+ about a man who had Glass knocked from his face and then stepped on to let him know his ability to take pictures was unwelcome.  It was a short post and I don't know all the details (he may have had it coming) but the post made my ears perk up.  I continued to read the comments and responses to the post and was extremely surprised at the number of people who commented about reactions they're having to Glass.

For the most part, people posted that they were up front about taking pictures and it was well recieved as long as the pictures didn't include the person.  Kind of like "take a pic of my stuff but leave me out of it."  The responses (more than one) continued to indicate that taking a pic with Glass was forbidden, but pull out your phone and take as many as you like.  It seems like the understanding that it's the same thing is lost.

As I reflect on this I really only have two comments:  

I have never come across a single person who is angry about Glass or anything other than interested.  I've had a few with concerned questions and one with a request to not take a picture (I think it was in jest, but I respeced it nonetheless).

People need to understand the technology and the role it does or can play in our lives.  I appreciate the opportunuty to be a Glass Explorer.  Not because it's some elite group, but because I have the opportunity to share and educate people about it.

As this moves into mainstream use and students start showing up with any type of wearable tech we need to be prepared to share with them the safety, responsibility and potential of the tech.  Through education of the public as well as the children we'll avoid a potentially eruptive response and learn to accept and embrace the future.

Friday, April 11, 2014

In a Glass House

You shouldn't throw stones.

Not literally, at least, but today I read an article (Huffington Post) and had a conversation with another educator that was looking at a different side of the technology.  The article was written by a Junior in high school who was complaining about the iPad 1:1 she was dealing with in high school.  To sum it up she felt as though too much technology was being forced on students; it would be more appropriate to not require the use of it.

The conversation I had questioned the validity of limiting students to one tool (Word or Google Docs) without getting them prepared for the "real" world.  It was a good conversation and, like most, I walked away with more to think about which leads me to this forum to share it with you.

Google Glass.  This represents a new technology, a wearable, accessible technology.  As the girl from high school indicated, are we jumping on board with the newest fad or are we actually providing something worthwhile for our children's education.  Many of the conversations I have with students connects with the "neat" and "cool" factors.  I think I'm going to have to get it into their hands and let them try it in school to see if they get the same feeling that it's too much.

Moving forward I'm curious to see how Ann's students react to the integration of Glass in the class (we talked briefly today about it) and what creative ideas they come up with.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the Huffington article.  Was it written by a student who wants to be removed from responsibility that accompanies a 1:1 environment or is she earnestly tired of being connected and in need of a break.

My gut reaction is to question the use of the tool.  Is it furthering her learning or just keeping her busier?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Star Trekking

Well I'll have to start by saying that I'm no where near as witty when it comes to glass puns and references, so the titles of the daily blogs are less likely to entertain (I think Passing Glass was my favorite, but maybe because it meant that I got my hands on Glass!)

A little background - I'm a life science teacher at the high school level and I currently teach Anatomy and Forensic Science Classes. You may end up seeing posts from around my department as we play with and attempt to integrate Glass into our instruction. As for me personally, I look at the post Dave made with me sitting at my desk wearing Glass and I was instantly reminded of Geordi from Star Trek. I found an interesting site comparing Star Trek tech with current technology (wireless ear pieces for communication, body scanning devices, etc.) and it made me think about how I plan on using Glass in class.

Honestly, I've been spending the past three days trying to figure it out - set up isn't hard but getting used to using it has taken me a bit longer - and I haven't had any breakthrough ideas. I been contemplating live screen casting when I'm describing and performing a lab technique to give students the correct perspective.  Perhaps I could document some of my classroom activities on video as I'm working on my National Boards certification - but seriously, if I record and walk around the classroom the resulting video could make people seasick.

So I'm nearing the end of my first week and find myself without much to report! Like Dave's first week, much of what I've done is handed off glass to the students and watched them take pictures and wonder all of what it can do.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Changing of the Guard

Great News!  Glass has gone to Science class.


Ann Perry will be using Glass for the next two weeks as she works with her students to evaluate Glass in a HS Science environment.  Look for her posts in this blog to see what she thinks and how it works out.

On another note, I spent quite a bit of time last night looking at different postings from others using Glass in their classrooms.  Again and again I'm amazed at the creativity from educators when they encounter new technologies.  I will keep you posted as the newest and greatest uses come out.  Right now there's a lot of getting used to it and using the camera features with Glass.

I've also been contacted by a gentleman seeking his PhD who's looking for Glass being used in education.  He's from Portugal and it makes me think about the wonderful power of the internet and social media to bring the world a little closer together.  As he gathers information, he's going to be able to include observations from me, Ann and Josh as we use Glass at Pines.  Really makes me think about how students can use current technology to connect to resources around the world.  It makes the term "primary source" a little more meaningful when researching world events or culture.  



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Too Much Work?

Some time last week I woke to NPR news like I do every day and listened to a report about Germany.  The report informed me in my half-awake state that Germany is prohibiting managers from emailing or calling staff members after work hours.  The report continued to inform me that the reason was stress.  Workers felt compelled to check the messages, respond and continue to "work" even when they were at home.  The report also said England was also thinking of adopting this policy.

This made me think about the commercial played during or around the super bowl.  This commercial (for Caddilac, I believe) boasted about America's push for more productivity, forgoing relaxation or vacation so we could claim that we were more innovative and hard working than the rest of the world.

This, naturally, led me to reflect on education and how "connected" we've become and what that means for our lives and the way we approach the education of our children.  We have some amazing ways to be connected and stay connected.  The question that has been popping into my head since I heard the report is this:

Are we expecting our children to remain connected in the same way as we're connected to our jobs?

Personally, I check my email every time the phone dings at me.  Often I respond to or "switch" into work mode at all hours of the day.  I don't really think of it any more as working after hours, I rather have evolved into this as part of my life.

As I've worn Glass for the past month I guess I've been failing to think of this aspect of Glass.  We've got 1:1 and BYOD initiatives in place not only at NPSD but in schools around the country.  This is not only giving our students access to technology and resources, but it's also giving them a connection at just about any time of the day.  Would the inclusion of Glass add to the stress already present or provide a tool to allow less restrictive access?  Another question I don't have the answer to, but one definitely worth thinking about.

Tomorrow I turn Glass over to the sciences.  I'm excited and curious to see what direction it takes as an in-class teaching tool.  I know Ann will have wonderful activities and provide outstanding observations.

This weekend I went to a fundraising banquet at a casino.  I chose to leave Glass at home but I talked with some of the other guests and as soon as they realized what I was talking about the idea of privacy came up again.  Most of them felt Glass would be a deceptive way to take pictures or record video.  Granted, it was an older crowd, but the sentiment was universal.  If we get to the point where we allow a device like Glass to be part of education, or at least when students start bringing any kind of wearable technology into the building I'm sure there will be discussions that are similar.

If we have one person in the school who doesn't want to be filmed will we ban the device altogether?  Will Google ban under 18 from having it?

I'm going to predict Glass will provide the world with the next evolution in privacy expectations.  Most people I know already take picture after picture with their phones and post them in some public forum.

Tomorrow I'm going to try and make a page attached to NPSD Glass where I can blog about issues related to technology in education.  I will try my best to make these connected to Glass but I already think some of it will stray a little into other types of technology and education.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Have and Have Not

I didn't wear Glass today.  I boxed it up and brought it to school in preparation for passing it on.  I still have it, mind you, but it's not even home with me now.  Without students and teachers around, I find it less appealing to wear.  Most of what I do during the day when everyone else is out and about spring breaking is on a computer and, as I stated previously, I'm not the guy who posts everything he does.

I received a survey from Google today regarding Glass and my use of it.  The survey was simple enough; asking questions about how much I wear it, how satisfied I am with it etc . . . .  It made me think again about the exit strategy from the Explorer program and the move by Google into the mainstream culture with this unique wearable technology.  Will there be some bonus from Google for my participation?  Maybe a stock option?

I've heard comments (and probably thought of a few myself) about people with cell phones anchored inches from convenient pockets on belt clips and those who walk about with blue tooth headsets protruding from their ears.  How is Glass any different than these other accessories?  I guess it needs to be significant for the price point Google's shooting for when it's released.

It also makes me think about cell phones and their introduction and eventual integration into mainstream culture and schools.  They were a curiosity, a nuisance, an obsession and eventually an essential.  Is this the fate of Glass or will the ripple from the rock amount to nothing more than that, a ripple rather than a tsunami?  I do know, from experience, there will be the sudden have and have not discussion once again as students and teachers start to bring it into the building.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a strong contender to 1:1 in education.  Students allowed to use phones, laptops, tablets or any other device to further their educational experience.  Some schools rely on this to defray the cost associated with equipping everyone for a level playing field.  Glass won't cut it.  It doesn't do enough yet to take the place of anything more productive that we already have.  So I have to look at it like an accessory.  I think Google would be OK with that.

The problem with BYOD that I see is everyone is invited to a playing field, but it's in no way level.  The pressure is going to be put on education to make sure that the game is flexible enough to allow anyone access with whatever they bring; a pencil to a MacBook Pro.  Definitely something worth discussing and talking about.

I'm a strong supporter of the "only a tool" philosophy and hope it continues to become an understanding of educators and students alike.  That being said, how much of a shift is there going to be for people to understand access to information is cheap and easy and there needs to be a focus on processing and application of that information to continue to grow and thrive and become productive?

Anyway, back to Glass.  I'm going to attend a banquet this weekend and I originally thought how great it would be to have Glass with me.  Then I remembered it's being hosted at a casino and that's a huge no-no.  I wonder if they take cell phones and other camera devices?

I also attended a Gamification session at the conference last week and it got me thinking about education being structured like a game (sometimes).  Can Glass have a place for collaboration amongst students in a game-like scenario?  Is this type of communication device akin to headsets and collaboration in online games?  Are we going to be so connected in the world that we eventually move towards a hive-like structure?

Once again, I turn to the greatest pioneers of innovation: Science Fiction Writers.  There has to be at least a dozen or more books I have yet to read that examine the impact of such technology and, in-turn, the effects of a truly "wired" society.  Interesting train of thought if nothing else.  Maybe Google's next advancement will be brain-wave reading implants to forgo the tell-tale "OK Glass" command I so frequently use now.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Tall Glass O' Philosophy

I recovered nicely today and was able to get outside a little and enjoy the sunshine.  As the now dreaded weather reporters are telling us there is the potential for another 6-12" of snow in the forecast.  If there's such a thing as divine intervention, we'll get 70 degrees and rain.

There's a definite comment that continues to surface when people first understand what Glass is and that I actually have it.

"Bet you've walking into a number of walls!"

If I take this literally, it's suggesting I'm so distracted by what's happening that I cannot focus on something I've been doing quite well for somewhere in the neighborhood of 38 years.  And, since I can chew gum at the same time, I think I've mastered it.

If I take this figuratively, it's suggesting that I'm frustrated with the function of Glass and I'm ready to leave it behind or I cannot figure it out and need to call the help line.

There's an off-chance possibility I'm misinterpreting the comment and there are numerous complaints from the Wall (or Wahl depending on location) family regarding my stalking . . .

I assure you none of the above situations have happened.  It does, however, lead me to philosophize about the implications.  This internal discussion was fueled this evening by a report on NBC Nightly News regarding "cracking down" once again on texting and driving.  Without getting too politically philosophical about it, the gist of the story was that texting and driving is as bad as drunk driving and something needed to be done about it.  Up to and including a sort of texting field sobriety test.

The issue here is whether or not Google Glass or devices like Glass will be too much of a distraction to allow people to be safe.  I support the no-text rules.  I don't text and drive.  I understand the allure of it and the desire people have to automatically pick up the phone and push buttons.  It seems as though the issue becomes less of an issue of the physical typing and more of the engagement of the mind.

Can this distraction be transmitted to the classroom?  Will devices like Glass only lead to one more avenue by which students (and staff) can become distracted?  Should we balk at this and ban wearable technology to help students focus?

Pretty big questions.  Luckily we've been asking these questions since computers first arrived at schools.  Especially in 1:1 environments we have to constantly evaluate whether or not learning is taking place and at what level.  Considering that "games" have been deemed a bad distraction (I disagree) in most instances and Glass really doesn't have many games; at least discreet ones.  When I play Clay Shooter or Tennis it's hard not to laugh as I wobble around trying to line the target or ball up with my sites . . . let me correct my original statement.  I have run into a wall before; playing tennis.

Back to the questions.  I don't have a definitive answer.  Part of this study, especially since we're on the edge of a change of the guard with my Glass, will determine how much of a distraction this wonderful little device will be and whether or not that distraction is worth the educational gains.  Round One is as an instructional device and Round Two will need to be as a learning tool.  I'm going to need to recruit a couple of students to test this out but I'm going to have to check on age requirements before I do.  Currently Google only allows those 18 or older to participate in the explorer program.

Tomorrow may or may not be a primary post from me.  Ann Perry, science teacher, friend and respected colleague will be taking over as soon as tomorrow and as late as Monday.  I will, of course, continue to post in the form of comments on her entries.  I may make an additional page that's more of a discussion open to anyone who cares to participate if I can figure out how to pull it off.

As far as the classroom distraction, five or so years ago I was told very specifically that it was impossible for students to listen to music and do anything else.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sick and Tired

That pretty much sums it up.  I spent the last two days ( half of Sat as well) sick in bed.  I can honestly say I've never been that sick before.  Ever.

Anyway, it forced me to unplug for a while.  As a Tech Coach sometimes that's extremely hard to do.  I'm trained to respond to a ding or quack or song clip as my phone, iPad, Glass dictates.  While it wasn't nice at all to be sick I did have time to reflect on unplugging and Glass.

Our kids need to unplug once in awhile.  It was 60 where we stayed this week and my kids walked the dog and played at the park.  They set down Minecraft and Netflix in favor of sunshine and mud puddles.

In terms of Glass, I think it allows for this freedom a little. Untethered by a four walled room there is freedom to explore.  Maybe it's just the opposite and it makes less room because you now have the power to be connected everywhere.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to maybe get out to the lake and try a little spring ice fishing.  Although it's April and I'd much rather be out in my boat there could be some great panfishing.