In Class: COM 427, "Social Media for Communicators"

Social Media Professor William Ward (@DR4WARD) gives his students a chance to take Google Glass for a spin during COM 427,  "Social Media for Communicators." Google Glass is the computer you wear on your face, like eyeglasses. It's activated with voice commands, can take video and still images and captures life's moments as they happen. Is this the future of social media? Ward's fearless sidekick, Ty the Wonder Dog, helps assist in the lesson plan and the exploration of this new device.

Here's a transcribed version of our story:

Google Glass video transcript

Professor Ward: “Whether it was the iPhone or the smart phones when they came out and how quickly they were adopted and Google Glass is probably gonna be one of those next technologies that are gonna change how people are using digital and social media.”

“Just like in the class before, I mentioned that I was going to share Google Glass in the social, global classroom with Ty the Wonder Dog and anybody else, and so I thought it was sort of fitting that he helped me get Google Glass that he would come today and get to meet you.”

“It’s important for us to try these out and see what it’s going to mean. Also wearable technologies too. There's going to be smart watches and other devices that are coming out too so we just have to be prepared for what's coming next and that's what we're hoping to do here is try out the Google glasses in class, come up with some ideas for different applications for them, actually develop those ideas and use social media to collaborate with teams, with each other to develop the ideas and then use social media to share ideas to get feedback and get votes for the best ideas with the winning ideas being ones that will be developed into actual Google Glass apps so the winning teams will have Google Glass apps created as part of the class.”

“The screen swivels a little bit to adjust for different sizes of peoples’ shapes of their face and they’re meant to sit a little higher on your nose. So if you have a narrow nose, because it’s set for mine, it might be sitting too low. So it’s almost like thinking of sitting up higher on your eyebrow there.”

“For me, I had preconceptions. So I thought it was going to be a lot different. I thought they were going to be more disruptive, more intrusive and have a lot of stuff going on distracting me. In fact what they really do is they’re off most of the time but when I need them to help me or do something I turn them on or speak to them and they do what I asked them to do.”

Kyle Thewatt: “Okay Glass. Record a video.”

Professor Ward: “Again with smartphones, they've been around since 2007. Over 50 percent of the population has smartphones, so people are used to sharing information on their smartphones and sharing it on their social networks. So, yeah, it has become a much more common place and so people are more comfortable sharing ideas, information, conversations and then just this is just another tool to help make that easier for you.”

“Okay. Now we are going to have you touch there’s a button up here on the side. So go ahead and find that button.”

“They expect it to be a three billion dollar-plus market so what the students are learning in here and the apps that they will be developing could be could part of the you know a new industry emerging around Google Glass and other wearable technologies. So, yeah, we're preparing them for the jobs of the future and this is just one example of how we're doing that.”

Ashley Obasi: “I really think Google is ahead of the game. But as far as taking the place of my, I guess traditional or what would be considered traditional cell phone, I don’t think the glasses will be able to do that for me personally, but definitely for someone who’s more into tech and gadgets. I think this class is great. I think it’s really interesting, um, it’s something that I really enjoy, social media, so I’m really interested in moving forward and learning new things about it.”

Professor Ward: “But if you can use social media to collaborate with team members to develop an innovative idea, then that’s going to get you the job.”