News & Events

Keeping an Eye on Commencement with Help from Google Glass
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Andrew Nguyen Wearing Google Glass
Andrew Nguyen wearing
Google Glass.

Commencement is an incredibly exciting time for students, their families and for Seton Hall’s faculty and staff. This year, we’ll be capturing the fun and the special moments of the day through social media, video, still photography and, for the first time, with Google Glass.

Andrew Nguyen, a member of the class of 2014, and Bert Wachsmuth, Ph.D., associate professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, will be wearing Google Glass and sharing their take on commencement via Seton Hall’s social media sites -- #setonhall2014.

Andrew, a political science major and a member of the Student Alumni Association, volunteered to wear Google Glass at commencement . Over the past week he’s been working with a team from the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center (TLTC) to get comfortable with his new eyewear.

Professor Wachsmuth has been using Glass as part of the Google’s explorer program where he is finding innovative ways of putting the tool to work in the classroom. As a faculty marshal at commencement, Wachsmuth will be assisting students as they line up in the tunnels just off the floor of the Izod Center. Wearing commencement attire and his Google Glasses, Wachsmuth will also be documenting the pomp and circumstance throughout the day.

Seton Hall’s senior marketing director, Linda Karten, recently spoke to Professor Wachsmuth about the Google Glass project and other exciting tech-focused happenings at Seton Hall.

Linda Karten: So you are beta testing Google Glass. How did you manage that?

Bert Wachsmuth: I have been an “Android developer” for quite some time now and have created a few apps, including the original version of “SHU Mobile.” When Google Glass became available, I submitted my name to participate in the “explorer” program. Eventually Google sent me an invitation. Of course I could not pass up that opportunity.

LK: What has it been like to use Google Glass?

BW: It’s been great fun and actually quite useful. For example, I wore Google Glass on a recent college visit with my daughter in Los Angeles. It was quite helpful to orient myself, navigate the city, find places to eat and visit, and take pictures and videos of everything. Plus, lots of people noticed it and talked to me, and it was fun watching them put on the glasses and say “Woah, that’s so cool”. I’ve also tried them out for a few actually useful projects, and I am continuing to work on some of them.

LK: What interesting things are you capturing with your Google Glass?

BW: I wanted to see if I could videotape my own lectures and student interaction from my perspective and post the resulting video for my students. I thought GG might be perfect, but I encountered some technical difficulties. I also recorded some online lectures for my students so that they could study some tricky concepts on their own time, viewing the recorded videos. That worked better, and was very simple to do. My next plans are to figure out how to write apps for Google Glass and to see if I can create a “SHU Mobile” app specifically for Glass.

LK: You volunteered to attend commencement wearing Google Glass. Why did you decide to do that?

BW: I have been going to Seton Hall’s commencement exercises for the last 22 years (with maybe three exceptions). I love the atmosphere, the students happy to graduate, the parents being so proud of their children, and the student-faculty interaction when students meet some of their favorite professors. I thought that by wearing Google Glass I might be able to capture some of that interaction, since I am “on the floor” in close proximity of students and faculty. Also, it might be fun to see behind the scene, where students and faculty line up with the excitement building.

LK: How will you combine wearing GG with your job as a marshal?

BW: I will be roaming through the “spaghetti machine”, where the students line up, capturing some of the chaos that is slowly getting ordered. Hopefully I will meet some of “my” students to congratulate them. I am also planning to turn Glass on to capture some of the activity as faculty get ready, trying to figure out how to put on their hoods. And I will be close to some of the students just as they walk in and search for their parents in the crowd.

LK: There’s been quite a buzz around this new gadget. Will lots of students be wearing Glass at next year’s commencement?

BW: That’s an interesting question. The first and obvious answer is: not unless the consumer version will sell for considerably less than the current explorer version. I doubt that many students would be willing to spend $1,500 on Glass. But surely a mass-produced consumer version will cost less. Still, it is a device that might not be useful for everyone. I read somewhere that “just as you don’t see people wearing welder’s glasses when they are going out for dinner, so will Google Glass be right for some situations and wrong for others.” Sharing the excitement of graduation from the “me” perspective might just be such an occasion. They might be the perfect graduation present!

For more information please contact:
Linda Karten
(973) 378-9835


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