Thursday, July 04, 2013

Google Glass Opportunities for Wrapping Old Ideas Up in New Techno-Babble

Mathews proposes streaming text chat to Google Glass while leading a discussion or lecturing. I have tried doing this while running a webinar. I found it very difficult to talk and follow the text back-channel at the same time. Most of the webinars I attend have a moderator, separate to the presenter, to handle the text. I can't see that having a head-up display for the text would imprve the situation.

Mathews suggests engaging students in the process of course creation. But creating a course takes months, if not years, of mostly tedious detail work. It seems unlikely that any student would want to sit through a live unedited recording from Google Glass of this. Students are likely to say that it is the lecturer's job to create the course, so they then get just the edited highlights.

I have produced several stream of consciousness type blogs while creating courses, but I would not expect my students to read all that waffle. As an example the 21 part series "e-Learning Course on Green ICT Strategies".

Mathews comments "... I have no real sense of how my students learn ...". There is extensive research on how students learn, some conducted using video recordings. Courses on teaching cover this material.

Mathews suggests cognitive life logging will have education value. Having read many postings with photos of what people had for lunch, I do not think this will be improved by a running commentary as they eat? ;-(

This back-story of a course, or someone life may be of interest, but will require considerable editing. It could be presented as pop-ups on a web page. I
can't see that a head-up display would really improve this.

Mathews envisions developing courses which incorporate self-reflexivity. However, such reflection is now a common part of advanced professional courses. The student submits a reflective journal, which can be text from their e-portfolio, video or some other format, such as interpretive dance (I am not making this up). At the moment I am trying a MOOC about vocational education, using a Moodle - Mahara interface. You fill in your Mahara e-portfolio and then press a button to submit it via Moodle for marking. So this is not new.

In education, we are continually looking at reflection, attitudes and cognition. But I can't see that a head-up display will help with this. Dressing up existing educational techniques in techno-babble to make it sound new will certainly not help.

My goal is to aid my students to be able to work with text. If they can do that they may then be able to tackle other media, such as video. Quality video is carefully planned in much the same way a written work is designed. You don't just turn on the camera and start talking.

Mathews concludes "Today I beheld the future… and it was beautiful. ...". Perhaps I am more cynical, as I work in a building where computer scientists and engineers invent new gadgets. Some of what they invent might be revolutionary one day (one example is WiFi developed by CSIRO, who have offices in the other half of the building). I occasionally asked to comment on new gadgets, most of which do not live up to their initial promise. So my conclusion is:
I have seen the future and it looks much like the present, but needs more batteries to operate.

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