This is a 2 to 3 minute read.
So. Farewell then Google Glass, for now at least. In my previous posts I had used the example of GG to discuss the concepts of affordance, normalisation and disruptive innovation. It looks like the first generation of GG failed on these grounds.
Slate suggests that “Google Glass has always been a solution in search of a problem” and that “Glass’ problem is that the technology today simply doesn’t offer anything that average people really want, let alone need, in their everyday lives. At some point in the future, it might. But not anytime soon.” The BBC suggests that one key reason is that people still love their mobile phones. GG just does not do enough things differently – there aren’t any new affordances.
Technology Review, along with the BBC and Slate, mentions that they looked and felt awkward. They also caused a social backlash against the wearers – “glassholes” as some people call them. GG was a long, long way from becoming normalised.
Well this leads me back to the last paragraph of my previous post on the subject. When we use Digital, or any, Technology we should not have a solution in search of a problem.
“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.”
A final lesson for Educators
It seems that GG is not actually dead – just resting. The designers are going back to the drawing board to hopefully create a product that will offer new affordances to the user and will become normalised.
As teachers we should recognise when a technology is not doing what we want it to do for us or our learners. We should not be afraid to stop, search for alternatives or go back to what we were doing before if it is more effective.
As with GG – we should not, however, be put off experimenting and innovating with new ideas and technologies because the understanding we get from this will help us make better decisions in the future. This can only be good for us and our learners.
That’s enough GG for this blog and I’m sure next time it will have a different name.