Google created quite a stir last week by announcing one of its projects currently in development. Project Glass (also known as Google Glasses) will allow users to connect to a wide range of information through a wearable pair of glasses. Using augmented reality functionality, people wearing Google Glasses will be able to access a wide range of information as they go about their normal lives. Want to see a bus schedule? Google Glasses will have you covered. Wondering about the weather? Google Glasses will let you see today’s forecast. Trying to find the quickest walking route to the library? Google Glasses will help you get there. Visiting a foreign city and wondering about when a certain building was constructed? Google Glasses will have that information as well. If you’re having trouble visualizing what this will look like, check out this video created by Google.
While most analysts see Project Glass as being several years away from reaching the everyday consumer, the technology is definitely on its way. As an educator, I see technology like Google Glasses and wonder about its effects on our curriculum and our roles as educators. Think historically for a second. Looking back 100 years ago, most students came into contact with very few sources of information. Students could get a book from a library or possibly read a newspaper, but they relied on educators for most of their information. With reference books being scarce, students needed to memorize facts, figures and equations so they could easily access that information when it was needed. Today’s students experience a much different informational environment, both educationally and socially. Students are literally being inundated with information everyday. Technology like Google Glasses is not causing this information overload, it just makes that process more tangible. With so much information at our students’ fingertips (or line of sight), some may wonder, what is the role of education and teachers? Despite having access to a multitude of resources, students must learn to critically analyze and apply the information they encounter. Learning to do this requires skilled educators. Even with the emergence of technology like Google Glasses, the future looks bright for education.