Tech Watch: Technology in the Classroom: Corning Gorilla Glass

Categories:  Tech Watch    Community
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Tech Watch: Technology in the Classroom: Corning Gorilla Glass by Leah Semroc
Contributed photo

Corning Incorporated is known for its glass innovations. From fiber optics to Eco-friendly LCD TV’s, Corning has a history for revolutionizing glass-related technology. Their current project, Gorilla Glass 2, will transform many aspects of our lives and will eventually bring new touch-screen technology into the classroom. The hands-on glass will change the way future generations learn and interact with technology.

Gorilla Glass is essentially a thin, resilient glass that is used in technology. Corning’s product is said to be damage resistant, easy to clean, and thinner than competitors. It’s the ultimate transparent connection to information, friends, and ideas. You may be using Corning’s original Gorilla Glass without even knowing it. Brands such as Sony, Acer, and Motorola use the glass in their smartphones, tablets, and TVs.

Corning is not only improving their current Gorilla Glass product, but is also planning future uses for the glass. To show their plans, Corning released a video titled, “A Day Made of Glass.” In the video, the narrator explains how the glass would be used in a hands-on classroom setting.

There are a myriad of possibilities. The glass could be turned into hands-on, interactive desks and tables. Students could perform tasks and complete assignments individually or work together on the touch-screen glass surfaces. Imagine how much paper could be saved by utilizing the desks for coloring, test and note taking, and group projects.

The glass could also be applied to an entire wall in a classroom for optimal media viewing. Here’s an example of what the wall of Gorilla Glass could do in the future. Maybe a fourth-grade history teacher is going to talk about the great Neil Armstrong and his first step on the moon. The teacher could show wall-sized movie clips of the moon landing and use the interactive technology to present the series of events surrounding Armstrong’s historic adventure.

With the endless possibilities of presenting information to students using Gorilla Glass, could there be just as many drawbacks?

Damon Finazzo, principal of Villa Maria Elemetary School, weighed the positive and negative aspects of the future of Gorilla Glass in the classroom. Villa Maria Elementary has technology in their classrooms including smart boards, a computer lab, and LCD projectors.

“I can’t say the current technology is making it better for learning, increasing achievement, and progress,” he said. With the future of Gorilla Glass, Finazzo expressed the idea of eliminating paper and textbooks. “I like the idea of kids not having to carry around heavy textbooks. However, a book doesn’t stop working; you don’t have to depend on electricity while using books.”

Another concern Finazzo had regarded communication. “In some ways, the Gorilla Glass would increase contact, but there would be less face-to-face contact,” he said. “I do think that kind of contact matters.”

Finazzo also pointed out some positive aspects of having the glass in a classroom-setting. “It could give students the ability to tap into their many different gifts, whether they are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.” He stressed that the glass would probably be expensive and more useful in a high school or college setting when studying things like “chemical interactions and simple machines.”

The glass could positively affect local colleges. For example, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College has a specialized plastics engineering program with expensive equipment. It’s possible that the Gorilla Glass could be used to teach students about the equipment and conduct trial-runs with 3D, online simulations. This could save money because the test-runs would be replicated using minimal energy online.

Although Gorilla Glass technology is in the beginning stages of development, there is great potential. It could change the way classrooms operate and also change the way we communicate. Local colleges and high schools already have technology, but imagine what they could do with Corning’s Gorilla Glass.

By: Leah Semroc

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