2013 is a big year for new technology. There are plans for new tech including a folding car, the next group of operating system releases, and the next generation of video game consoles. The plans extend outside of simple consumer electronics though, and enter the realm of wearable computing.
Google Glass is described as a “hands-free” smartphone experience. Glass can be worn on its own, or attached to a pair of glasses. A small screen would appear that would alert the user to different pieces of information. Sending and receiving messages, GPS navigation, and taking photos would all be done through voice activation.
The Apple iWatch, name subject to change, would be worn on the user’s wrist. Though few details have been released regarding this device, many different technology websites expect the device to be operated by a touch screen. The functionality is also expected to be very similar to that of the iPhone. According to CNET, a technology news website, Apple also published a patent for a “flexible touch-screen device that can wrap around your wrist.”
Technology like Google Glass and the Apple iWatch, objects that have features similar to a smartphone are on the horizon and will soon be hitting the market. The question that schools now face is how these products will affect education.
Leisa Passarelli, a Computer Technology teacher at Seaholm, is excited about the new products.
“I’m always excited about new technology,” Passarelli said. “I like to see what is new.”
It isn’t solely praise though; Passarelli has her own concerns about the technology entering the classrooms.
“My biggest worry is if the students will use the new technology appropriately,” Passarelli said. “If they will their powers for good, not evil.”
Sergey Guzyayev, a senior at Seaholm, also has some concerns about the technology.
“There is potential for kids to screw around with this, like they do on computers now,” Guzyayev said. “It would also be a really difficult to monitor without an invasion of privacy, but if addressed well, they could be some extremely useful tools.”
Marc Prensky, an educational consultant and author, studies different ways to teach. Prensky believes that wearable computing is a quickly arriving trend.
“Wearable computing is an arriving wave,” Prensky told the Highlander. “Hard to predict a time frame for a majority to have it, but it should be within a few years.”
Prensky said it is important to incorporate these devices effectively into education.
“If these things exist, education has to be, in part, about using them wisely,” Prensky said.“Smart educators will figure out how to do this. Other educators will complain that they make things too easy, or are in some other way harmful to education. I disagree, and am excited about having them.”
Robert Carleton, a social studies teacher at Seaholm, believes there is potential application for this technology in 21st Century Learning.
“Anything that is going to increase connectivity to the outside world can be extremely useful in a classroom setting,” Carleton said.
Carleton also had thoughts on how to apply the technology in the classroom for students.
“With technology, the students could talk to someone from France about how the French Revolution is taught there, and that is pretty amazing.”
Google Glass is slated for release later this year, and the Apple iWatch has not yet been officially announced.