Wilton High School pilots Google Glass

Thanks to the federally funded Carl D. Perkins grant, Google Glass will be incorporated in Wilton High School’s AP Computer Science class curriculum this spring.

“I chose the AP Computer Science class to pilot this with because these students are curious, they think critically and work collaboratively in a way that is truly cutting-edge,” explained business teacher and technology instruction leader Amy Korn.

“They aren’t afraid to push the envelope with technology tools, and they — like myself — want to see how technology can better our society and classrooms on a larger scale.”

Ms. Korn said the Perkins grant — administered by the state for program improvement in career and technical education courses — “has funded ‘new’ and ‘existing’ programs that help Wilton High School be a more comprehensive high school.”

For more than 10 years, the Perkins grant has allowed Wilton High School’s applied arts department to introduce new classes and update curriculum materials.

“Through grant funds, we have been able to build and maintain the culinary kitchen, the video production lab and have a wonderful computer lab for our architecture class,” said Ms. Korn. “The grant allowed for us to introduce AP Computer Science last year and Web design a few years prior with no material costs to the district.”

Ms. Korn said the grant has also kept the school’s applied arts classrooms up to date with technology, including Smart Boards, sound fields, document cameras, and subject-specific technologies.

“As the technology instructional leader and a member of the applied arts department — with the generosity of my department instructional leader, Reby Townsend,” said Ms. Korn, “I have been able to use grant funds to test out many new technologies at the high school before adopting and requesting them through our district technology plan. This was my approach in requesting the Google Glass.”

The Perkins grant submission came just in time, said Ms. Korn, who was working to become a Google-certified educator at the time “so we could become a part of the explorer program and obtain the Glass,” she said.

Using Google Glass

Ms. Korn said she hopes to find ways in which Google Glass can impact classrooms at the high school — “how they could potentially personalize learning by providing more opportunities for teachers and students in different course curriculums.

“The approach I hope to take is to put them in the students’ hands, research different uses and have them tell us how this device could better help them and their peers to learn,” said Ms. Korn.

Some thoughts and ideas so far, said Ms. Korn, include:

  • Seamlessly search the Internet.
  • Take video of lessons and post them to YouTube.
  • Have students create and generate video footage of virtual field trips.
  • Create documents on how to use technology and other resources in the school.
  • Explore augmented reality.

“One of the best features of Glass is that it is hands-free,” said Ms. Korn. “We often need our hands for many classroom activities, which I think will ultimately be the largest long-term benefit in the classroom and the learning commons.”

When the Google Glass arrived in December, Ms. Korn said, she and her students took time setting it up and understanding how itwork. Some students, she said, have even experimented with the Google Glass outside the class for other projects.

With all technology, Ms. Korn said, she believes the focus should be on the pedagogy — how it can be used educationally — and not on the technology itself.

“Technology tools, in large part — particularly something as new and intriguing as Google Glass — get our students excited about learning,” said Ms. Korn.

“My students are intrigued and curious [about] how this will fit in and if it even has a place in education or in today’s technological world, which is a fair question and one we look forward to exploring this spring.”