SUNY Cobleskill Looks to Google Glass in Pilot Program


State University of New York at Cobleskill has unveiled a new pilot program to examine the use of wearable video and mobile technologies to support experiential learning.

Project WAVE-ExSEL uses Google Glass to equip students with point-of-view videos relating to their paramedic and animal hoof health programs.  The technology will allow students to watch as others perform procedures and faculty with be able to better perform student evaluations.

Students from other programs such as business, IT, and graphic arts will be incorporated to help with the overall logistics involved.  Those students will receive hands on, real world experience with website design, setup and maintenance.  The students will become experts in their field, working cooperatively as well as with faculty members in the pilot labs.

Cobleskill’s CIO Jim Dutcher said the program will also encourage competition between students, in turn promoting student success.

“Being able to capture someone doing something in an expert fashion will lend itself to the creation of blended learning environments. Students can preview somebody else going through [a procedure] before they have to perform it live. It’s the difference between a biography and an autobiography: The biography can give relevant facts and details, but to experience what a person went through, the better read is the autobiography,” said Dutcher.

The school was given 15 to 20 pairs of Google Glass devices, which was then matched by the school’s purchase.

Forbes underscored the importance of the opportunities that Google Glass provides for education and healthcare, stating, “Medical education, from traditional medical school to the field training of paramedics, is about to fall under the influence of Google Glass.” Forbes goes on to detail Grossman’s use of Glass to educate, writing, “Now, this Google Explorer is extending its use into medical education and begins to look at the value of Glass as a tool for teaching.”

Throughout the course of the pilot program, faculty members will focus on answering questions such as: does the wearable technology enable students to learn at a faster rate?; what effect does the technology have on teacher-student relationships?; do instructor point-of-view videos help students to better understand the materials?; and how does the wearable technology translate across programs?  The answers to each question will effect the future use and expansion of the program on the campus, other campuses, and with business partners.

The university plans to expand the use of the technology across their campus, extending use to several sister SUNY campuses and additional academic programs.  The school would like to see the technology not only used for this purpose, but also in federal programs for continuing education.

The school is also seeking out corporate partners that may want to use the technology in their products and service offerings.  The campus will be available to the companies to test out new equipment, and the schools would benefit by having an unending amount of technology to use in their academic programs.