Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Halfway Through Glass

Well, I'm about halfway through my trial with Google Glass, and it's been an interesting experience.  I've had Glass in my possession for about 12 days, and have logged between 12-14 hours of actual face-time with the technology.  I want to first explain how I used Glass the past 12 days and then discuss my current thoughts on it's use in education.

Since my last post I traveled with the Skills USA group down to Madison where 16 students competed in 7 different skill or leadership events.  I used Glass a little bit but not constantly.  I did add Twitter and You Tube as apps and this did allow me to utilize Glass more, but I'll expand on that later.  I also allowed my students to try Glass and they had a lot of fun with it.  Following that trip it was back to normal school days and classes and I used glass where I could, mostly to take pictures and videos.  I looked into screen casting what Glass sees, but can't seem to be able to figure it out yet.  The weekend came and I had big plans for a spring turkey hunt, which ideally would have entailed a successful hunt caught on camera by Glass. However Thursday I began feeling a bit under the weather and I continued to decline through Saturday.  So instead of calling aggressive Toms I spent most of my weekend sleeping in a recliner.  The new week came offered a great Glass opportunity in that the track team that I coach had a scheduled meet so I was able to experiment with Glass in that capacity.

So how is Glass working for me?  In my first post on the subject I commented that my initial thought was Glass is a neat way to do all of the things I already do with my smart phone or iPad.  I haven't had a breakthrough moment that has changed my mind about this.  With all of the apps available for the Android and iOS platforms (I know there are more those are just the two I use) most technology users have a pretty good routine that works for them.  For me, the two examples I can give of common technology I use are posting student activities and achievements to Google +/You Tube/Twitter and taking video of athletes to work on form/technique.  The iPad and my Droid work fairly seamlessly in doing these tasks.  For coaching I use an app called Ubersense that lets me take/edit/share videos and most importantly, view them in up to 1/8 speed slow motion.  While I can take pics and videos really easily with Glass, it is not as seamless to post to the various places I post to.  It is not impossible to do these things with Glass, just not as easy or smooth to do so.  For example, I took a video of a female long jumper and tried to post it to You Tube at around 7 PM yesterday.  I received an email saying it had been posted at 9 PM.  Then I had to go to You Tube on a different device to Tweet the link because I can't (or can't figure out how to) view my videos on You Tube on Glass (view the video here).  I also can't duplicate the advantages of the Ubersense app for iPad with anything on Glass.

A student using Glass at the
Skills USA competition.
I believe the issues I commented on above will get better as Glass gets more common.  It's just such a new technology now that it is naturally going to lag behind in certain areas.  As far as Glass itself I have two issues.  One is that the battery life seems to be really short.  I have to charge it more often than I ever would have guessed.  Another issue is that I have a hard time connecting it to my phone's network consistently. There have been three or four times since I've started using it that I cannot get Glass to recognize that it is connected.  My phone shows that the two are connected but Glass will say "Droid RAZR Disconnected". I'm still working on this issue and will hopefully get it sorted out.

On the positive side, it is always fun using something so new and unique.  I have been very tentative to use Glass out in the public.  I don't like drawing attention to myself and really found it uncomfortable, for me, to give voice commands to Glass around other people.  However, when my students at the Skills USA event saw that I had them they immediately asked to try them.  In fact, I was explaining my hesitation to wear them in public and one young lady said "I want to walk around with them.  Can I?"  She got a lot of interesting looks could hear people talking about her as she wore Glass, but had fun with it nonetheless.  I also went to Glassware and installed an app called Strava Run.  It is an app that will track thinks like MPH, distance, and mile pace when going out for a run.  I thought it would be a cool app to give our distance runners to track their practice pace/distance.  Another use that I thought was really cool was using the turn-by-turn navigation feature that's available when it's connected to my phone.

While I'm still looking for that home run idea to utilize Glass as an educator I'm definitely enjoying experimenting with it.  I still have a few days to go before I have to hand them back to Dave, so hopefully I can come up with some worthwhile classroom activities and experiments.  If nothing else maybe I can take some video of some open-water fishing this weekend (if the ice ever goes away...)

No comments:

Post a Comment