West Michigan teacher wins Google Glass prize

5:59 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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Andrew Vanden Heuvel shows off Google Glass

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- All it took was a tweet, and a West Michigan teacher got to go on a trip of a lifetime and be one of the first people in the world to own Google's latest creation.

Google Glass is essentially a computer that you wear on your head. It takes photos and videos, can search, and shows an image right into your eye, however it has not yet been released to the public.

Andrew Vanden Heuvel isn't your ordinary teacher. "The students that I am teaching online, they log into a computer and do everything remotely," says Vanden Heuvel. "I am an online physics teacher or an freelance educator, depending on who I am talking to."

The idea behind Google's competition was simple, tweet a message about how you would use Google Glass. Andrew's tweet said that he wanted to use the device to make every moment a teachable moment.

Google called Andrew to say he had won, but said they had an extra surprise. He was getting a chance to fly to Switzerland to visit the LHC or Large Hadron Collider, and teach an online class from that location. Google would follow him and make a commercial on his adventure.

In his trip he had the opportunity to be one of the few people in the world to ever bike around the collider, and connected with students from South Christian High School, to show them what he was doing.

His adventures can be seen here.

When he returned, Andrew visited South Christian to meet in person the students he had taught from thousands of miles away and give them the chance to use Google Glass. Each student tried on the device and figured out how to search.

"These are, without question, some of the first high school students to try on Glass," says Vanden Heuvel.

Andrew says the moral of his story is, "Put yourself out there-- all I did was apply for this thing and I got this amazing opportunity as a result."




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