This past week, I attended FETC in Orlando. That would be the Florida Educational Technology Conference. An event with 8000+ attendees from around the world. This was my first opportunity to wear Glass all day in an environment where most people knew what they were. They were certainly popular. Overall, I saw probably 20 or so others wearing Glass. Probably the highest concentration of Glass wearers in one place this week outside of Mountain View. At one point, there were 6 of us at the Google booth at the same time.
Many people I talked to had heard of Glass, but had not seen them in person. I worked the Google booth for about 4 hours on Thursday to answer questions about Google products. Even though the brand new Chromebooks were lined up behind me, I had a line all day waiting to speak with me individually in order to try on Glass. Other vendors even came over and asked for a chance to wear them.
Even on the last day, I while sitting in the final keynote, a man asked if he could take my picture wearing Glass. I asked if he wanted to try them on and he got all giddy like a kid at Christmas and said, “I wanted to ask, but didn’t know how.” That was a common theme among a lot of people I talked with. They didn’t know the etiquette involved in asking to wear others’ Glass. Some people were brave enough to ask, others waited until someone else was trying them on before they asked, and others waited until I offered. I understand witnessing Glass in the wild is rare at this point, so I don’t mind people asking. I got them to understand how they would be used in the classroom and I have no problem talking about them with others. I even had one woman approach me and say very flirtatiously, “Nice Glass!”
I am constantly hearing great uses for Glass. One that really jumped out was a teacher from Canada. He doesn’t have Glass yet, but his idea for them was brilliant. He is a job coach for special needs students, but has too many students under his supervision to go out in the field with many of them. His idea was to send the students out with Glass and do a live Hangout with him. Then he can see what they see and give them direction or instruction right then.
I intend to post more photos later this week as I get more time to sort through them.
Overall, Glass aside, I was impressed with FETC. I got some great ideas for future projects, the attendees to my session were responsive and receptive, and the set up was easily navigable. I was a little disappointed to have to pay $3.25 for a bottled soft drink and $15/day to park, but that isn’t the conferences fault. FETC will definitely by on my list for future conferences.
If you were there, what were your thoughts? Did you get the opportunity to try on someone’s Glass?