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Five ways I’m using Google Glass in my schools to enhance education

| June 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Jay Eitner

In January, I got one of the best e-mails I ever received. It was from Google Glass,1 asking if I was interested to pilot their new project. I was beyond excited to try out this seemingly futuristic device during a normal work day.

After successfully setting up my frames and Google Glass, I was up and running, although it took me a few hours just to turn the device on! Then comes practising your toggling, eye movement, using your fingers and training your eyes to look in new ways. Naturally I read some articles on Google Glass etiquette.

CNN had a great article on ‘How not to be a “Glasshole”’.2 From my use thus far, here’s what I’ve been able to successfully achieve with my ‘Glass’ in schools as a better chief lead learner:

1. Record teacher observations. When I told my staff I had Google Glass, there were grumbles and moans. At first, I just wore them and let everyone try them on. Then, during observations, I recorded samples of students working, teachers teaching, and even some disciplinary issues. The results? Awesome. I have played the video clips back to some staff members as part of ongoing professional development.

2. Send live updates of school happenings to social media to show all of the positives that are happening at the school. We all know the power of social media and how getting quick, simplistic information is beneficial to all. With Glass, I can take pictures and share them on our school Twitter feed (@LACSchool), our Facebook page, and even attach images or videos to e-mails. I have spent lots of time promoting and guiding our stakeholders to our website/social media platforms.

3. Observe special education students at their best and worst, and provide footage to both parents and the child study teams. Sometimes certain students have certain needs that we can’t immediately identify or even explain properly. Having the ability to record a student with autism spectrum disorder when they have a ‘meltdown’, and immediately send that to the child study team, is paramount for our success. It allows us to immediately assess, document and begin to figure out to combat the situation. It also has allowed me to engage with parents who are in denial. It has opened eyes, and in turn, allowed parents to make better decisions.

4. Get e-mail ‘on the fly’. As a superintendent, my e-mail inbox is insane. Instead of reading e-mail on my phone, I can now see when e-mail comes in and have Google Glass read it orally to me. I can then dictate a message back, save it or delete it. It’s not used all of the time, but if I have spare time, I can weed out quite a bit.

5. Report concerns immediately to maintenance. I often walk the halls, and I’ll see something that needs cleaning, is in disrepair or looks fantastic. I can take a picture and e-mail it to the grounds supervisor right on the spot. No more trying to recall what hall, where and when. As Google Glass rolls out more apps, and as I (and the staff ) get more comfortable with their use, I can see this being a permanent fixture in a school. Glass is helping us grow, learn and move onward.

Jay Eitner is an ardent blogger and superintendent for the Lower Alloways Creek School District in Salem, New Jersey in the United States. In education in the US, a superintendent of schools, also known in many states as a chief school administrator, is a person who has executive oversight and administrative powers. (Source: /wiki/Superintendent_(education).) This piece appears here with Eitner’s kind permission.

References: 1. Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that was developed by Google. (Source: 2. See:

Category: e-Education, Winter 2014

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