Recently, my AP Art History kids and I took a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. I decided that it would be a great opportunity for the students to play with Google Goggles - we could see how it works in practice and I could bug my students for input on the best ways to employ this tool for school. If you’re not familiar with Google Goggles, check out this video below:
I gave them the opportunity to earn extra credit and encouraged those without Smart Phones to share. I gave them the assignment to use Google Goggles on a minimum of two (2) pieces (they could do more if they wanted) and to answer the following questions:
Were the results quick?
Were the results accurate?
Does the information appear thorough?
What type of resources does Google locate?
Does it solely return secondary resources or primary as well?
Any other observations of note?
I also encouraged them to include pieces that did *not* pull up on on Google Goggles, as we want to see its breadth. The students were eager to use the tools on the trip – borrowing each other’s and even my own phone to try it out. We noticed some stark differences between sculpture and paintings, as well as Modern Art and “Classical.” Sculpture would often not pull up, unless you took the photo from a very specific angle (and even then, you had to take two or three pictures). Paintings were more readily able to be found via Google Image search – the exception being Modern Art with more saturated colors (such as a Rothko). As per usual, I was thoroughly impress with what my students produced.
Here are a few examples of their findings (some with pictures):
Overall, the students found Google Goggles easy (and even fun) to use. However, it does need some further development. Still, they almost universally told me that they would be using it on all future museum visits to learn more about the art around them. One also mentioned that she would be going to Europe with her family during Spring Break and that she planned on giving it a whirl in Italy with the monuments.