Sunday, January 12, 2014

Glass in Class: Part 1

When I first started playing with Glass, I immediately envisioned several uses for it in my classroom, but with no experience in programming, I am not the one to make these ideas a reality. Glass's modest variety of apps through MyGlass temporarily limits the device's capabilities, although rumors of presentation programs and sideloaded apps that are still in development give me hope that the general as well as classroom-specific utility of Glass will improve with time. However, I have found a few pertinent uses for Glass in the classroom, and even if these uses are all predicated on using the camera, I have found that Glass has aided my teaching practices in unique ways that other technology has not.

1) Video Critiques: I use Glass to record my critiques of physical projects, for example, plate tectonic game boards and science fair projects. Sure, rubrics elegantly outline every point made (or lost), but if you watch a room full of twelve year old students who hail from a highly competitive community, you will witness forty sets of eyes scan the rubric from top to bottom, where they eagerly come to rest on that final grade. My detailed comments are often neglected or simply skimmed.

Recording video critiques obliges students to listen to those comments before hearing that final grade, so the critique becomes yet another learning experience in which students learn how their work is evaluated and how to improve next time. I still use the rubric as a type of script as I deliver the evaluation for each required component. Additionally, I find it useful that I can manipulate the project while continuing to record. For a school trying to convert to primarily digital learning, this version of a video rubric allows me to waste less paper, to spend less time writing a rubric evaluation that will be largely ignored, and to emphasize the critique portion before reciting the final grade.

2) Video Field Trip: I am fortunate in that my personal interests intertwine with my subject matter. I hike, backpack, and travel often, giving me wide exposure to places and things of scientific interest.

For example, when I was backpacking last summer, I recorded a short video about microorganism in the forest. Juggling a camera while trying to use a hand lens to show in more detail those microorganisms was a laborious process that led to a mediocre video that seemed more like The Blair Witch Project than a neat, mini documentary.

Much like video critiques, being able to shoot from a first person perspective frees my hands to manipulate objects within the camera's view. It also frees mental space that would otherwise be dedicated to balancing the camera and monitoring the framing of each shot.

3) Calendar: Teachers spend only about half their time on the actual instruction; the other half of the time is dedicated to curriculum planning, workshops, and meetings. Daily schedules are planned down to the minute, so punctuality is an essential tool in a teacher's repertoire. Email calendars are helpful but require actively engaging with email in order for reminders to appear.

Glass puts those calendar reminders in front of my face, so as I am teaching seventh period, I receive reminders for afterschool IEP meetings and parent conferences. I can mentally prep for these events by being aware of my schedule in advance, and I find that advantage invaluable in being able to quickly and intelligently transition from one even to the next.

4) BTSA: Otherwise known as Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment, this program, as its name implies, supports and assesses first and second year teachers. We are required to collect extensive evidence of the efficacy of our teaching practices and their alignment with state standards, district standards, and personal goals. This year, the program switched to a digital format, allowing teachers to collect a wider variety of evidence to validate their progress.

Whereas last year I was confined to filling out documents and providing student work samples, this year, I can photograph and record evidence that is difficult to quantify in a document. Using the Glass camera, I have recorded students debating ethical issues within science, collaborating on group projects, and presenting final products. The Glass camera allows my attention to stay on the students, because recording becomes a passive, background process with Glass. My recordings are faithful narratives of my classroom experience, as students act more naturally for Glass than they do when a typical camera is recording them.

5) Parking Duty: On my campus, teachers participate in parking duty. Our school is notorious for our parking "situation" (they even made new segments and newspaper articles about our campus). The parking situation is particularly problematic in the afternoon, with traffic backups as long as twenty minutes if parents elect to arrive right at the end-of-school bell. Due to some unethical choices being made in the parking lot, our principal advised teachers to bring to parking duty their school-issued iPad in order to photograph the license plates of offending vehicles.

Much of my time is spent trying to direct parents who more often are looking sideways onto campus for their child/children rather than focusing on the cars and pedestrians in front of them, so holding an iPad while trying to flag down cars is an inconvenience. Glass, however, allows me to quickly and surreptitiously photograph license plates and incidents that happen on my shift.

Again, my uses for Glass are centered around the camera, but I am confident that in the future, Glass will offer services and apps that improve the classroom experience. For example, taking role by voice command allows me to keep a visual on my students without having to duck behind a computer (or even an iPad).

Also, I am excited by the rumors of an app that projects presentation notes through Glass while the actual slides appear on the compute. The Glass touchpad controls the movement of slides, allowing me to move around the room as I deliver direct instruction.

I would also like to be able to instantly access student grades via Glass. Right now, I have to navigate quite a beefy process on my iPad to access grades, but with the quick access that Glass could provide, I would be able to instantly address missing work for each student.

Lastly, a random student selector based on the class roster would provide a more non-biased way for calling on students. If you have never managed a group of forty middle school students, then you may not understand the executive planning involved in these "micro" decisions, which have to balance fairness, student shyness, with classroom management. If there is a consistent expectation that each person has an equal opportunity of being called on, there is more accountability and less of a feeling of "teacher's pet" ruling the classroom. There are mobile apps that address this concept, and perhaps those mobile apps are just as effective as a Glass version would be, but I value being able to keep an active eye on my students. Seeing their facial expressions helps me to judge how much they "get it", before I even call on someone.

This is only an abbreviated list of the many possibilities for uses of Glass in the classroom. I tend to be app focused, but I am sure there are opportunities for services as well to aid in the classroom experience. I want technology to improve my efficacy and access to data, and I believe the unique interface of Glass can do just that.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Glass in the Wild

            I've never seen another Explorer in the wild. It's been near isolation in my tech-napped
world for the past five weeks, sans Google hangouts with my inspiration for investing in Glass.
            Then, I met Aaron*, a fellow second generation Explorer and programmer. Just days before Christmas, amidst the throngs of holiday guests to the happiest place on Earth, I stood at the checkout counter of a store along the main street in California Adventure. The cast member registering my purchase took an eager interest in Glass, so I began my friendly, routine explanation. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a figure lingering nearby, not even eight feet away from me. As I glanced sideways, I caught the startling image of a face with Glass.
            The sight shouldn't surprise me, yet, since this was my first public encounter with another Explorer, I was unprepared for meeting my kin. In a way, my initial mild shock is probably similar to what the general public upon meeting "one of us". Note to self, smile even more and look even more approachable to assuage that shock.
            He grinned and slowly approached me, and we exchanged pleasantries and names. At this point, with two of us bearing the same unfamiliar gadgets on our faces, the curiosity of the people around us became insatiable, and the flood of questions began. Typical, expected. However, he was well-versed in his response. He whipped out his phone and opened his screencast so fast that I simply deferred to his explanation.
            While his words were amicable and demonstrated patience, he certainly moved and spoke with, might I say, aloofness, with a general lack of eye contact and an over confidence in his knowledge of Glass. I can't say for sure that it was true aloofness, but at the time, I couldn't put my finger on the meaning of his demeanor. He brusquely pointed out that should show my screencast as well, but, in my mind, our holding up the entire line to demonstrate Glass felt a little selfish and, with attention spans waning, perhaps unnecessary.
            His explanation was rehearsed yet approachable, and when one of the cast members asked if we received a lot of questions about Glass, he replied with, "Yes." That tinge of exasperation in his voice was so subtle, so brief, that I'm sure I'm the only one who caught it (intuition of people's feeling courtesy of my counseling background).  Then, as quickly as he appeared, he wrapped up his three line explanation and left the store at a quick pace.
            I didn't know what to make of this encounter. In all, everyone we talked to walked away with positive awe about Glass, which is one of our primary goals as technology ambassadors. However, something felt odd: the way he kept distance from people; the forced, albeit friendly, recitation of how Glass works; the tinge of exasperation; even the lack of eye contact; the quick departure. These all spoke of someone who has been jaded by the Glass experience.
            I messaged my Glass friend about meeting another Explorer "in the wild" and gave a brief synopsis of the experience, ending with my dismay at Aaron's apparent aloofness. My friend messaged back,
            "Yeah, I could see that happening. A lot of Explorers would probably fall on the introverted side of the spectrum."
            I sensed validity to this assertion, as several of my technology-oriented friends, many of whom are self-proclaimed or are otherwise labeled as a "geek", tend to exhibit the very traits I saw in Aaron: socially awkward, intensely occupied with technology, unconsciously didactic, friendly but skittish. Of course, individual experiences tend to bias in a particular direction, and with pop culture directing the masses toward believing geeks to be introverted, technology-oriented, and often socially awkward. Just look at The Big Bang Theory's characterization of geeks, and you'll see my point. Even American author Julie Smith described a geek as "a bright young man turned inward, poorly socialized, who felt so little kinship with his own planet that he routinely traveled to the ones invented by his favorite authors, who thought of that secret, dreamy place his computer took him to as cyberspace."
            Don't get me wrong; most geeks are amazing people who tend to cluster around a specific set of personality traits, including introversion, and I am not saying there is anything wrong with introversion. Even I tend toward introversion the Myers Briggs Personality Profile. However, this classic geek trait does carry certain ramifications in the introduction of Glass by an almost exclusively technology-oriented population, such as programmers and developers. The original premise of the Explorer program was to invite individuals to test, for a price, Glass before it reached the general public, meaning that it has fallen upon those introverted individuals to interface with the public about Glass.
            I have a feeling that a lot of people, while curious and excited by the new technology, see it as a geek gadget for that exclusive population of programmers and developers. Nearly every person I have spoken with while wearing Glass has asked if I work for or am somehow affiliated with Google. The next question is always an assumption formed as a question about my being a programmer. People do not yet see this product as a gadget for the general population, which I think is being perpetuated by the fact that the lovable but not exactly extroverted population of Explorers happen to be technology savants who can demonstrate the product well but leave doubt in the minds of the public they interface with if this product can be useful anyone.
            With third generation Explorer invites being submitted as I speak, I hope the Glass population waters down to include more "average" people, such as myself, not because I don't appreciate the tech-geeks responsible for initially introducing Glass, but because the public needs to feel like they are an extension of this project, too, capable of becoming, in their own right, a self-proclaimed tech-geek.

*Name has been changed.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Sister Has Been Glass-napped

            It was inevitable that I would have to introduce my family to Glass. Walking around at the next holiday dinner and wearing a computer on my face would probably trigger some well-justified curiosity. Being previously tech-averse, I knew this would be a big unveiling, and I wanted to introduce it in as positive and enthusiastic a way as possible.
            With an upcoming brunch with my dad's family, I decided to take Glass for a test drive. I rehearsed my phraseology and sharpened my fluidity with Glass to ensure I came off, to their technologically untrained ears and eyes, as an expert in my new gadget.
            Although I'm more introverted in public, I am much less shy around my family, so I decided to make a show of wearing Glass into the restaurant. I marched up to the table with a big, self-satisfied grin on my face, feeling something between pride and embarrassment as I pretended that the computer on my face was as natural as the blue in the summer sky.
            They reacted with as much enthusiastic curiosity as I could have hoped, and while their positive responses empowered me, my nine year old sister was the one who stole the show.
            With nearly nineteen years between us, my sister and I aren't exactly your standard siblings, and in many ways, we are complete opposites. Where I wanted to please others when I was her age, my sister is headstrong and single-minded in her pursuit of pleasure. For example, when I tried rehearsing with her single-digit multiplication facts, her eyes glazed over, and her self-inflicted ADD tendencies flickered away conscious thought.
            "Rochelle, what is two times four?" I asked.
            "Seven," she replied absently, her eyes roving the restaurant in search of anything but math and numbers.
            "Wrong. And you know it. What is two times four?"
            "I don't know. Let's go play. Come on, Ashley!"
            I thought for a moment and concocted what seemed like a brilliant plan. "Sure, I'll play with you."
            "As soon as you tell me the product of fifteen times four." I grinned and turned back to the adults, convinced that I had put her in her place.
            Four seconds later, "Sixty. Let's play!"
            That's the kind of little sister I have. I adore her, and while she may not be the standard academician, she is both bright and an independent thinker.
            Fast forward back to her introduction to Glass: for a few minutes, she watched me demonstrate to my dad and grandparents how to use Glass. Then, she boldly asked, "Can I try?"
            Sure, I figured. Let her give it a try. I'm curious how long it will take her to figure this thing out. With a few directives from me, she managed to navigate through many of basic voice commands. I decided to give her free reign to try out as many functions as she possible. My mistake wasn't in giving her an open invitation to Glass surf on my account; my mistake was in diverting my attention to something else. In that absent moment, as I further explained Glass to my dad and grandparents, she managed to voice initiate a video call to someone on my contact list. I managed to connect the dots just after she said his name, and before I could stop the call, my friend had already picked up, his small image just visible to me on Glass's screen.
            I would have done a better job explaining the situation to my poor friend, who had obviously only woken up because of the incoming call, had I not been in a fit of giggling hysterics. Video calling from Glass means that the person on the other end is seeing what the person wearing Glass is seeing. My sister could see my friend through Glass, as he was using a standard webcam, but he could see my entire family eating brunch and hear my sister talking with him. I can only imagine how confused he was. Fortunately, he was a good sport about the whole thing and graciously listened to her chatter before I finally garnered sense enough to end the call.
            By the end of the meal, my sister had mastered voice initiated texting, taking pictures, Google searching, phone calling, and video calling. Of course, being a nine year old, her sole concern was when Glass would have games, like the ones on her tablet. When I apparently didn't adequately explain why Glass didn't have those games, she took to asking Glass, in her most playfully condescending voice possible, for the answer to why Glass doesn't have good games. Sometimes, sisters can be brats (and I say this in the most loving way possible).
            Even if she did use my own toy against me, I'm excited that she intuitively figured out Glass, which I interpret as a positive harbinger for future, juvenile Glass users. More importantly, I can officially say that my sister has been Glass-napped.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Taking Glass for a Run

            As a tech neophyte - I didn't even own a smart phone until I decided to purchase Glass - the world of apps is still new to me. A couple years ago, when my students asked for app recommendations, I naively mentioned that my dumb phone had a calculator. We all giggled and smiled as I held up my phone. I thought we were laughing at how students are so reliant on calculators to do math; they honestly thought I was telling a joke.
            Of course, I have since learned to think differently about apps and phones. Most importantly, apps are a way to personalize the technology experience: games, sports, shopping, e-readers, and more. However, Glass's nascent existence means fewer Glass-compatible apps at present. Combined with my general lack of familiarity with apps, personalizing my technology experience could be a challenge.
            Cue my resident Glass expert, who recommended a running app that works with Glass. In hindsight, this recommendation was brilliant, as it gave me a reason to wear Glass on a daily basis. However, upon hearing about the Strava running app, I blithely dismissed it as an over-glorified timer, perhaps a pedometer with an appealing UI to compensate for lack of content. However, I am fully vested in this adventure and want to try everything on for size, so I loaded the app and went for a run.
            Needless to say that when the Glass lady's crisp voice suddenly chirped my distance, time, split, and pace, I skipped a step and nearly tripped myself. Even with my music blaring full volume in my ear buds, that voice cut through the music and startled me. Bemused, I kept running and pushed myself just a little faster. When her voice rang out again at the one mile mark, I was prepared for the update.
            I usually reserve running outdoors for distance or relaxing runs, while treadmill runs are used for interval and speed training. However, the simple act of providing split times and pacing activated my self-competitiveness, and I found myself pushing harder than usual.
            At one point, I tried nodding to trigger Glass in order to find out my elapsed time between half miles, but as soon as the clock flickered to life, it went dark again. I tried again, only to meet with the same result. It took me a few tries to connect the dots and realize that the jostling of my head simulated nodding, which activates and deactivates Glass. I have since learned that I can turn off this function, but, whether it's sheer laziness on my part or a genuine lack of needing to know my exact, current time, I have opted to keep on the head tilt function.
            If I had a heart rate monitor, I could sync it with Strava and create a more complete fitness profile. However, even without tracking heart rate, I think Strava meets my needs. Ironically, I didn't even know I had a need for a running app, but I've used it for every outdoor run since that first time. I am still under the impression that I don't need technology, but I certainly can benefit from using it in my daily life. I think this is going to be the great thing about my grand, technology adventure: finding ways for technology to complement and enhance my lifestyle. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

An Introvert's Battle

       Wearing a computer on my face isn't exactly an effective way to blend into the masses. While I am not necessarily shy, particularly in front of forty squirming and flighty preteens, I naturally tend toward introversion, and a well-documented history with stage fright confirms that, at the very least, I do my best to avoid public attention. Yet, for my first outing with Glass, I brazenly chose to wear it to Disneyland.
            I suppose I was superficially conscious of the social repercussions of wearing Glass, and I knew that reactions could err in either direction. However, as soon as I entered the throngs at Disneyland, I suddenly became fully aware of the quantity and spectrum of responses that Glass would elicit: baffled looks, curious glances, awed gazes, morbid stares, double-takes.
            I walked through the crowds trying my best to project an aura of approachability and affability. I may not be a tech wiz, but I am an ambassador for Glass by being interfacing with the public. With great respect for that responsibility, I want people to associate Glass with friendliness and, to be honest, a sense of normalcy, as if this device could easily be used by anyone. Admittedly, stomaching those first ten minutes of public attention require a good deal of fortitude and resiliency, lest I be intimidated by mere looks.
            I purposely planned my Glass experience to coincide with regular Saturday swing dancing event so that, at the very least, Glass time could blend with the normal course of my day. It just so happens that this dance event is held inside Disneyland. I left an hour earlier than usual in order to get used to wearing Glass out in public. Why not experiment with trial by fire?
            In the hustle and bustle of the park, most people did not confront me about Glass. Outside a curious glance, people seemed content to curiously gawk, so I usually returned a friendly smile and kept walking.
            If only that could be said for my first verbal interaction regarding Glass. As I rested on a bench inside the park, two men walking by did a double take and whirled around. I summoned courage for my first Glass dialogue with a genuine smile, but before I could so much as utter a greeting, they began spewing acrimony.
            "Glass is evil!"
            "Demon woman!"
            "Apple is better!"
            Now, this is not a commentary on Apple aficionados. Idiots come from all backgrounds. I was so startled that I fortunately couldn't manage a response and reveal my snarky side, which would run contrary to my goal of positive public interfacing with Glass. This apparently atypically hostile  confrontation did, however, put me through trial by fire, and instead of withdrawing into the introverted side of me, I kept on Glass and continued my tour through the park.
            The rest of the night I experienced only baffled or positive reactions to Glass; however, no one else verbally acknowledged the device. Perhaps it was the pedestrian nature of my observers that prevented direct interactions; however, I wanted more than just notice - I wanted to dialogue about Glass.
            The next day, my mom and I went for a hike, and, to respect the boundaries of a technophobic parent, I left Glass at home. When I mentioned needing to buy a new computer charger, she acted uncharacteristically interested in my intended outing.
            "Are you going to Best Buy after you eat lunch?" she asked.
            "Can I go?"
            "What? You don't like running errands with me."
            "I want to go. You should wear Glass."
            Ah! There it was. Her curiosity must have been stronger than her tech aversion, because, before that, she wanted little to do with Glass (or technology in general). In this case, she could be an observer and directly interface with Glass. I hadn't planned on wearing it to the store, but curiosity won me over as well - how will people "in the know" with technology respond to Glass?
            The tech geeks at Best Buy didn't disappoint. (Trust me, tech geek is a compliment of the highest order from me. The one and only solution to technology problems is to turn off the device and then turn it back on.) Mostly, they whispered, stared, and gawked. However, a brave and vocal minority approached me and asked about Glass. Two asked to take a photo with me, which were then posted to social media, and one even asked to have his photo taken by Glass. A middle-aged printer rep was the bravest of the bunch and spoke with me for a solid fifteen minutes about the marvels of modern technology.

            Warm and genuine interactions like the ones I experienced at Best Buy reaffirm my decision to become an Explorer. I am the average person acting as an ambassador for a high-tech gadget that has been, to this point, associated exclusively with the tech crowd. In addition to Glass being a rare sighting in general, seeing an regular, non-tech individual with Glass makes a statement about the device's image. I may be, as a group of Best Buy employees stated, "the cute blonde with Glass" or "an evil woman with a devil device", according to the bozos at Disneyland. Either way, for someone like me, it's as much about the social experience as it is about actually integrating Glass into my daily life. Additionally, until Glass becomes widely available, wearing it forces me out of my comfort zone, and I get to live the introvert-turned-extrovert fairytale for a short while.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Somewhere between technophobe and technophile

          At the beginning of every school year, I hold up my apparently antiquated, seven year old slide phone for my students' parents at back-to-school night and explain, "This is my phone. No, it is not smart. No, just because I can't email you back immediately does not mean I am ignoring you. I have a life, just like you. And having a life makes me a better, happier teacher." They always chuckle good-naturedly, reassuring me that I can survive another school year without the expectation of instantaneous emails.
            I wouldn't classify myself as technophobic, but I pride myself on being able to genuinely thrive an increasingly technology-dependent world without being constantly tethered to an electronic device. At heart, I am a wilderness aficionado who can spend weeks at a time backpacking in the solitude of the mountains, connecting only with my immediate environs and a few other trekkers who share my passion for the secluded wild. Stripping down to the bare minimum is more than a mere choice, it's a necessity in backpacking; and finding supreme happiness while disconnecting from civilization is a strong persuader in favor of simple living.
            Even my more urban hobbies of city running and swing dancing rarely require the use of handheld technology.
            I live without the latest tech trends decorating my purse, my ear, or my house. Until recently, I sported that seven year old slide phone, a device that didn't even offer internet access. I rarely watch television, and I own an iPod because my best friend gave it to me as a birthday gift.
            In fact, the only reason I have any modicum of expertise in anything technology is because I work at a high performing school that is leading the way in digital learning. This year, we are expecting one-to-one digital devices for all students grades six to twelve, which means that we, the teachers, must become proficient in not only their use for teaching but also in educating students in how to use them for learning. Honestly, I had never even touched an iPad, much less used one, until last year, when all of teachers at my site were given one with the caveat of becoming tech masters within one year. No pressure.
            Lest I dwell too much on Apple products, let's turn to the purpose of this narrative. Early in 2013, one of my good friends from dancing arrived at our local venue wearing a curious, electronic contraption across his forehead. As he excitedly described his headwear as Google Glass, a small, just-above-eye-level computer that acts as both phone and computer, a litany of less than polite phrases dashed through my mind. Cyborg. Weirdo. Tech addict. Stalker. Self-absorbed. Oddball. Extreme geek. Mindless drone.
            Being proud of my tech aversion, I immediately disdained Glass for being, to me, a more efficient tool for gratifying the insatiable impulse to Google everything and for staying relentlessly connected. Plus, it just looked weird, some unsettling but miniaturized hybrid between Iron Man and Terminator. I also questioned the social implications of a device that would seem to perpetuate, even exacerbate, the rudeness that so many people exhibit when they can't seem to put down their phone to enjoy real human interaction or a genuine life experience. I thought to myself, is he filming me with Glass? Is he looking at emails while we're talking? Is this just some bizarre meeting of tech obsession and desperate attention seeking? Because with that contraction on, he stands out like a pee stain in a field of snow.
            Fortunately, I acclimatized to Glass. If he took a picture or video, he told me in advance; his interactions with the device were quick and generally nonintrusive; and, I inured to its physical appearance. I can't say I yearned for one myself, but it had some advantageous quirks, such as navigation, voice command texting and internet searching, and first person photographing.
            Needless to say, when that same friend extended one of his three invites to me to join the exclusive group of Glass Explorers and own a Glass device myself, I felt as shocked as I felt confused. I have never been shy about expressing my affinity for a relatively technology-free life, and with only three invites to give and an entire community of eager technophiles dying to receive such an invitation, I felt this offer to be ill-judged and, frankly, ridiculous. Would you give an airplane to someone who fears flying? Would you give a set of steak knives to a hemophiliac?
            I immediately demurred, breezing past the already expressed philosophical issues and reminding him that I didn't even own a smart phone, a necessity for Glass to function. Besides, the cost was too high for someone with only a vague curiosity. My friend shook his head and stated that he figured as much. It was a lovely thought to include me, but what a preposterous idea!
            I went to sleep without a second thought to the whole business. However, sleep and dreamland can do funny things to an unsuspecting mind, and I somehow woke up to thoughts about Glass. As with most mornings, my mind turned to teaching as well, and soon, the two trains of thoughts collided. I never even thought about how Glass could affect me outside my usual hobbies of backpacking, running, and dancing, and here I was, at six in the morning, already envisioning some amorphous ways to incorporate Glass into education. Education, more than anything else, is my passion, and in the midst of laughing at a waste of an invite on tech adverse me, I forgot that, for eight hours a day, I am immersed in a digitally-dependent world.
            Naturally, after ruminating over professional implications, I reverted back to how I, personally, could apply Glass to my own life. Somehow, in the light and freshness of a new day, I could somehow fathom the use of Glass in my social and personal spheres. They weren't revolutionary thoughts - navigation purposes, internet searching, emailing and messaging - standard fare for the average user. But I could imagine more, such as translating foreign languages and a check in app for hikers and trail runners.
            At this juncture, where I could feasibly imagine Glass's potential roles in my life, I began to understand my importance in the Explorer program, whose user base is slowly diluting from developers to average users. I thought, how can someone like me utilize a device such as this? Can this improve my quality of life? What do I need that this device does not yet provide?
            I couldn't name many specifics, but I started to realize that I may have given up on a golden opportunity. I spoke with my mom, a few friends, and several coworkers that morning and found that they each had great input for the use of Glass. There I was, surrounded by people with superior ideas for technology I did not yet understand, and while I may not be the innovator Google wants, it became clear that I could be a nexus for suggestions and improvements for to their latest device.
            To make a long story short, I called my friend and managed to reinstate my invite. Two weeks later, I sat at the Google campus in Venice Beach trying on my cotton Glass, scared of looking like a cyborg but excited to be an ambassador of this technology. At times, I wonder if I'll make a difference in the development of this historic product, but mostly, I am excited for the unknown and the novel. I have the support of my school site, my district, and the few family and friends that know I am taking on this opportunity. Those who know me best question how someone who is usually technology avoidant, whose hobbies are not conductive to the latest and greatest devices and gadgets, will utilize Glass in daily life. The honest answer is that I simply don't know. And that's kind of exciting.