Google Glass goes Gamification

GEUG14: Google Glass goes Gamification

This project is an interdisciplinary project involving four departments at Umea University in Sweden. The project aims both to explore how Google Glass can be used in learning situations and to enable students at Umea University to develop tools and pedagogical activities for Google Glass. Within the project, we are exploring how to use Google Glass in specific learning situations where the learning process is designed as a kind of treasure hunt or gamification.

Two young pupils, Elvira (13 yrs. old), and Axel (15 yrs. old) participated in a learning activity where they were using Google Glass to solve challenges and pedagogical problems. The challenges and problems they solved were sent to their Google Glass when they approach a specific area (GPS coordinated information) at some locations along the Umea City Hall esplanade (the treasure hunt was decided to be outside to be able to use GPS). When the pupils successfully solved a challenge, the students were receiving new clues pushed to Google Glass to be able to find the next location where a new challenge or clue was presented.

The university students who developed the GPS coordinated information are enrolled in engineering programme in Interaction and Design. The tool they developed for Google Glass made it possible to set information to specific coordinates and to a specific radius and, so to speak, made it possible to trigger the information feed to be pushed. When Elvira and Axel were approaching the area where the information was set to, the information was pushed to Google Glass. The other student group, enrolling programmes in engineering physics and Industrial economics, developed the challenges and problems for the treasure hunt. The challenges, problems and clues, was also of course connected to existing functionality in Google Glass, the tool that the students from Interaction and Design developed for GPS coordinated information and to content connected to the European City of Culture, for example art, sculptures and poems ( Criteria for the challenges for this student group was also that the treasure hunt should be fun for the pupils to participated in, an interdisciplinary learning activity and that the pupils should need to communicate and share information through Google Glass (and YES the students succeeded in doing this!). The pupils had to solve, among a lot of other things, for example a physical experiment, clues from poems printed on a big wall and clues from the app ‘WallTagger’ (an augmented reality-app) connected to a piece of art. The pupils also had to cooperate, communicate and share information for solving challenges and problems to get the right clue for next location through Google Glass. The two student groups have received help (besides the involved university teachers) from technical experts and mentors from two local companies that is developing IT applications – CGI and Dohi Sweden.

The two student groups worked really hard to make everything possible to implement. They thought it was a tough challenge but very fun. They also passed their courses with distinction. The two pupils, Elvira and Axel, loved participating in the treasure hunt and said that they learned a lot of different things. They would like teaching and learning in schools to be more like this. They expressed that this treasure hunt with Google Glass was a memory for life.

Google Glass goes Gamification is not only a project to provide students to develop tools and pedagogical activities for Google Glass. It is also a contribution to the current debate about using IT in schools. The question is not only about how and when to use IT solutions in teaching and learning and what benefits it will bring, there is also a need to look beyond the contemporary use of IT in schools. What will the future bring? What do we need to do when we are facing new challenges and new opportunities to use for example wearable technology such as Google Glass, and how can and should we handle that?

Some images from the treasure hunt with Google Glass:
Photos: Thomas Mejtoft

The treasure hunt begins.

DSC_0106 kopia
Elvira and Axel needed to communicate and help each other to solve this clue.

‘Glass’ means icecream in Swedish 🙂

The students are coordinating the treasure hunt. In the background the symbol of the European City of Culture – ‘The heart’.
A journalist is interesting in what Axel is about to do. Here he is using the augmented-reality-app WallTagger to get the next clue.The piece of art he is pointing the app towards is named ‘Ok, glass’ by the artist Camilla Hällgren. You´ll find it here >>

The students are trying out functionalities.

The two student groups are discussing and planning together.

One of the student groups are presenting their projects for their classmates and teachers at the university.





Google Glass in Dentistry Programme at Umea University

GEUG14: Google Glass in Dentistry Programme at Umea University, Sweden

We started to integrate Google Glass as a device in dentistry program at Umea University in Sweden in 2013. In this project we particularly focused on those activities where dentist students have their clinical practice with the patients. We are exploring how Google Glass may facilitate the communication between the students and their teacher during the student’s clinical practices with the patient.

  • Before Google Glass. The dentist students had patients in a booth. When a student needed help from the teacher, they wrote the number of the booth on a whiteboard where they are located with their patient so the teacher would know, looking at the white board, that a student needed help with something.
  • With Google Glass. The dentist students have patients in a booth. The students use mobile devices (e.g. media tablets) and the teacher uses Google Glass to communicate with each other. The students send emails or a Hangout message to the teacher that describes where they are, in which booth and what they need help with. The teacher gets a notification through a sound, while wearing Google Glass that means that one of the students has sent a message. The teacher is then able to read the message through Google Glass and reply to the student by a voice message.

During this project, both students and the teacher expressed that the communication between students and teacher has been facilitated, improved and decreased waiting time through the integration of tablets and Google Glass.

The students described that It feels good not to leave the patient alone when they need help from the teacher, they got help faster than before and specifically they got in contact with the teacher faster since the teacher is able to reply to the students messages directly from Google Glass regardless of where in the clinic the teacher is. The students know when they can expect help from the teachers replay and can start with something else meanwhile waiting for help. The students also used Hangout to send images to the teacher. In some cases, when looking at an image a student has sent, the teacher replayed from Glass and didn’t need to go to the booth. The teacher could instead go to another student that needed her help more.

The teacher in this project pointed out that it is possible to, for the first time, prioritize which student need help first due to the content of the messages sent via the mobile device to Google Glass. Before, when only the booth number was written on the white board and not what kind of help the student needed, it was not possible for the teacher to make a priority. The teacher also said when helping a student it is possible to know if there are another student waiting for help or at least want to be in contact with the teacher since a notification of a sound is given when a message is sent. Sometimes when the teacher needed to treat a patient herself and of course need her both hand, she could replay to another student that was asking for help through the voice-controlled Google Glass.