Speakeasy forum: Google Glass Testing Goes To High School

by: Richard0945 April 2, 2013 7:59 PM PDT

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Google Glass Testing Goes To High School

by Richard0945 - 4/2/13 7:59 PM

Forget apples.
Central Indiana high school teacher Don Wettrick is getting something much
better: a pair of Google Glasses.

The Franklin High School teacher
will join about 8,000 others who have been selected by Google to try out its
interactive, Internet-connected spectacles. The first commercial version of
Google Glass, dubbed Glass Explorer Edition, won't arrive until next January,
according to Google.

"I found out Saturday
morning. They sent an email and a tweet," Wettrick told InformationWeek Education
in a phone interview. Although happy about being selected, Wettrick said he
wasn't all that surprised, because his class was, he said, a "perfect
match."

"I hate to sound
arrogant, but a lot of applicants wanted to film a wedding or a basketball
game," he said. "We represent Google's spirit."

Wettrick was referring to his
Innovations class. Now in its first year, it allows the 17- and 18-year-olds to
collaborate on projects of their own choosing youtube konverter. In this sense, the class of 20
mirrors Google's own policy of letting employees devote 20% of their time to
passion-driven projects.

The students find experts
through their local networks or, increasingly, via Twitter. Projects are
documented through weekly video blogs, and all the work is substantiated
against Common Core State Standards, Wettrick said.

To date, the students have
worked with a tech startup in Seattle and an app developer in Beijing. A group
of three students built a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and will serve as
teachers when it launches in three weeks.

In fact, it was Wettrick's
self-starter students who encouraged their teacher to apply for the Google
Glass beta program.

Wettrick's entry, created and
submitted on the day submissions were due on Feb. 27, includes a 15-second
video. It was a natural choice for Wettrick, a broadcast teacher. "If I'm
selected, it won't just be for me, It'll be for my entire class," Wettrick
said in the video. "I run a publicly educated class called Innovations,
and in this class we communicate and collaborate with other experts. This would
allow us the opportunity to work with Google and then communicate our results
to the world."

How will Wettrick's class use
Google Glass?

"We have an interest in
video," he said. "But I think the students see this as an opportunity
to be a game-changer in education. It's less about video and more about collaborating
with other schools, teachers and students."

Last month, at the SXSW
conference in Austin, Texas, Google provided more detail on Google Glass,
including how developers will write applications for the interactive eyewear.

As for Wettrick and the other
Glasses beta testers, the honor of being chosen does not come free. Not only do
they have to travel to California, they will have to pay $1,500 for the
glasses, when they become available to beta testers in the next several weeks.

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