Teaching While Connected: My Google Glass Experiment

“Our students will be earning a living as adults in a world that MOVES”…

Oakland SchoolsJulie Alspach: Last year about this time, I attended the MiGoogle conference and listened to Andrew Vander Heuvel talk about his experience with Google Glass. The innovation of Google Glass inspired me to apply to be a Google Glass Explorer. At that point the program was a closed beta. That means you needed to apply and be accepted in order to be allowed to buy and test glass. (Currently it is an open beta, meaning anyone can buy Google Glass).

Instead of putting my first name on the application, I demonstrated a little tech savvy by using my twitter handle, @JulieAllThat. Within a week, I had an invitation to buy Google Glass. The cost was significant. But the experience of being a Google Glass Explorer has opened doors for me…

What I do with Google Glass

Glass has been great for first person point-of-view videos. I can video tape my daughter’s whole band performance without the picture dropping down because my hand is sagging. (The first person point-of-view is demonstrated on this multi-sample video on my YouTube Channel.)  While recording my daughter’s band concert, I was invited to present at Chrysler to their team that works on vehicle connection software. I did present there, and had great conversations about ‘technology added-value vs. distraction’ with the engineers.

Glass is also great for ‘being there’. I never have to dig for my phone. Email, tweets, texts, and phone calls are right in front of me when I am wearing glass. It’s called heads up display.

One of the best things I do with Google Glass is SHARE it. Yes, I present at corporations, conferences, and edcamps, but I also pass it around. There’s nothing more powerful than the expression on students faces when they start engaging in the technology. When our students engage, we open the innovative thinking to create the next generation of problem-solvers.

What can Google Glass do in the classroom?

  • Star Chart gives student a heads up map of the night time sky.
  • Evernote can record a teacher’s lecture for student who need notes.
  • Students can record presentations and labs.
  • Google Glass can translate text from one language to another.
  • Google Glass can read QR codes. A student can look at a QR code to bring up more information.
  • Virtual Field Trips can be created from a first person point-of-view to enhance student engagement.

CLICK on IMAGE below to view virtual field trip with Google Glass!

Oakland Schools


For me it’s not about the device. Google Glass is just a conversation starter for creative problem solving; for moving our thinking into the next step. Wearable technology is a growing field, including Fitbits, smart clothing and smart watches. Our students will be earning a living as adults in a world that moves. They will need to adapt and change with that world. I came across a post on @teachthought called 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teachers Who Use Technology. These are MORE than just habits, they are fundamental job skills for our students.

Learn More:

Andrew’s story about Google Glass with Andrew Vander Heuvel

STEMBites – Andrew Vander Heuvel

Teacher’s Guide to Google Glass – Edudemic

30 Ways Google Glass Can Innovate the Classroom – Mashable

My Wearable Technology Presentation – Julie Alspach

 Julie Alspach is Lead Instructor for Oakland Schools’ Virtual Learning Academy Consortium (VLAC). She is also a robotics team coach and EdCamp organizer and can be seen on campus and at events wearing the amazing Google Glass!

Oakland Schools


Blog Editor: Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools


 Oakland Schools • 2111 Pontiac Lake Road • Waterford, MI 48328-2736 • 248.209.2000

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