Using Google Glass to enhance learning and teaching

Suzy Houston, John Kerr

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


DescriptionIn late 2014, the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow invested in a pilot of Google Glass Explorer Editions as a possible means of enhancing learning and teaching in the institution. Through this forward-thinking, innovative approach, academic staff were able to experiment with wearable technology both within and outside the face-to-face classroom environment.After an initial series of testing by the Learning innovation Officer and school-based e-learning support, pairs of Glass were distributed to technology ‘evangelist’ academics from several different social science disciplines to test and evaluate for themselves. These staff were supplied with help guides and direct operational instruction on the affordances and limits of Glass technology. Staff were also provided with some suggestions of potential usage based on their upcoming course activities.This current session will report on some examples from the Google Glass project to date., including: capturing group discussions; providing timely, flexible and engaging feedback to students; and enabling students to record and submit multimedia group work. Such applications have already had far-reaching effects: for example by breaking down traditional staff-student barriers (Havergal, 2015); facilitating greater levels of learner control and participation; and providing opportunities for staff and students to be more practically engaged in producing engaging multimedia resources. Ultimately this has led to a shift in culture whereby staff and students have been empowered to explore new technologies and challenege current practices.Bi-annual feedback from students on their perception of technology in the classroom suggests that they are de-sensitised to technology in the classroom (Honeychurch & McCluckie, 2013). This suggests that some technologies such as moodle and lecture capture are now firmly embedded in the learning experience, to the extent that students no longer notice them as ‘technologies’. In direct response to this feedback we begain to explore possible applications of wearable technology in the classroom. Unlike established learning technologies, wearable technologies are still very new and cutting edge – in fact the point where we began to deploy Glass, this product was not even on the market. By acting on student feedback in this way, students have played a role as Agents of Change, inspiring use of cutting-edge consumer technology in the classroom that is quite a departure from existing approaches. College staff and students now view themselves as innovators as a result of this project, with expectations for future classroom innovation being massively increased.During the session we will consider levels of success of the differing applications of Google glass in classwork and the tangible benefits of being involved in new and experimental projects such as the Glass Explorer Edition. We’ll give an insight into reactions by staff and students to the use of Glass in the classroom, and consider how putting Glass into the hands of students rather than teaching staff might potentially be a more far-reaching and effective approach to transforming classwork, i.e. letting learners themselves lead the way.Participants will have the opportunity to test Google Glass for themselves and get a closer look at the Glass headset and functionality throughout the presentation. We will bring things to close with a look ahead to future developments in wearable technology and consider how it might impact on the HE landscape in the future as new and more powerful versions become available on the market.
ReferencesHavergal, C. (2015) Eyes in classes follow those in Google Glasses [online]. Available at (accessed 2 February 2015)Honeychuch, S. McCluckie, B. (2014) First Year Student Use of Technology and their Expectations of Technology Use in their Courses [online]. Available at (accessed 20 May 2015)Useful readingeduglasses (2014) How Google Glass Is Being Used In Classrooms Around The World [online]. Available at (accessed 2 February 2015)Rosenblum, M. (2014) Google Glass and the power of technology to change the world [online]. Available at (accessed 2 February 2015)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventAssociation of Learning Technologists Annual Conference 2015: Shaping the Future of Learning Together - Manchester University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sep 20159 Sep 2015


ConferenceAssociation of Learning Technologists Annual Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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