March 3, 2014 Leave a comment
The much touted Google Glass has arrived at Texas State! The School of Journalism and Mass Communications acquired a pair earlier last month and since then, faculty have been learning to use it themselves and introducing it to their various classes.
“I showed the Glass in my undergrad Web Design & Publishing class and my graduate level Advanced Online Media Design class. The students were excited about it!” said Dr Jacie Yang. Senior Lecturer Jon Zmikly, who teaches the undergraduate Fundamentals of Digital Online Media course had a similar experience. “When I brought Google Glass to class, I got lots of oohs and ahhs” he said. “It was a great ending to my presentation on Google’s innovation, so I think the students were surprised to see it in person.”
As amazing and cool as the tool is, the lecturers and professors did feel there are still some drawbacks to it. “I’m an Apple fanboy, so I’m naturally not the biggest fan of Google technology,” said Dale Blasingame, another lecturer who has had the opportunity to try out the new wearable device. “Glass is not incredibly user friendly. The swiping isn’t intuitive, and it’s somewhat difficult just to get back to something. But it’s just a prototype, so I’m sure there will be improvements.” Dr Yang also reckons that some improvements could be made. “I think it’s definitely a very interesting new tool but it probably needs more work on the UI (user interface). My eyes also get really tired quickly because the projected screen is on the upper-right corner.”
The ones who are probably the most excited about this new acquisition is the group of four graduate students who have been competitively selected to cover the highly anticipated SXSW Interactive festival this year. Priscillia Seelan, Melody Mendoza, Jacob Ehrnstein and Jordon Hattery will be covering the festival via the SXTXSTATE website. The project is now in its seventh year. “We’d like to use it to get interviews, some first-person perspectives through the Trade Show,” said Zmikly, who is also one of the lecturers assisting with the project. “I’m sure it will also be helpful for getting directions to various hot spots around Austin.”
This new acquisition is just another example of the SJMC’s effort in ensuring that that which is being taught in the classrooms is up to date relevant with the advances being made outside of it. “I think it’s so great that we can introduce the latest technology to our students,” said Blasigame. “Journalists, in particular, can hopefully see the uses for Glass. Any student interested in international journalism, for instance, should be salivating to get their hands on Glass. I just hope to continue to open their eyes to the advantages of news tech opportunities.”