Google Glass and Educational Technology


This is a 2 to 3 minute read.

Apologies if you were looking for a groundbreaking post on the uses of Google Glass in Teaching. This post revisits a previous post on innovative uses of Digital Technology in education.



A while ago I wrote about the innovative use of technology in teaching and learning through 3 concepts: Affordance, Normalisation & Disruptive Innovation – I won’t go into them again here but you can always reread the original entry. In that post I initially discussed Google Glass(es) as a new technology waiting to be innovated with (if this is an appropriate term!)

A  Guardian review of the newly released GG gives the product a 3 out of 5. This probably not a bad rating for the first version of a totally new product but it also provides another opportunity to explore the concepts of Affordance, Normalisation and Disruptive Innovation. The review is not too long and worth a read but I am primarily basing the rest of this page on the concluding pros and cons.

From this, single, review we could form these general conclusions.


– It has a heads-up display – great for industries & situations where hands-free access to information is crucial

– Although it doesn’t have a ‘killer app’ yet it does have some like the Star Chart that take advantage of the heads-up design.


– At the moment it is not normalised, but in these early days it is not perhaps surprising. The reviewer notes that from the looks he got from people when he was using GG demonstrate that they are not yet socially acceptable (definitely not normalised).

Disruptive Innovation:

– At the moment they do not do anything that a smartwatch or smartphone can do at a cheaper price, as a commentator on the page noted “it doesn’t solve a problem” yet.



Undoubtedly things will improve quickly as people use and innovate with GG – as teenagers did with SMS. Also as future models improve on this one – think of how any technology that has been around for more than 5 years has developed.

But as things stand we could see GG as being in the pre-teenager phase of SMS. A product with potential for Disruptive Innovation and obvious Affordances that still need to be exploited and innovated to find real purposes before its becomes a Normalised and accepted technology.




So, how does this relate to teaching and learning?

This is a reminder for those of us using and implementing Digital Technologies in teaching and learning situations. Just because something is shiny, new and exciting it does not make it fit for purpose. We must have a purpose, a problem to solve or gap to fill – the technology must allow us, or our learners, to do something we couldn’t do before. It may also allow us o do things we could do before but to do them more effectively.

We should certainly experiment and innovate with new tools but keep these thoughts in mind.



Creative Commons License
Google Glass and Educational Technology by A Bosson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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