Google Expeditions

Like many people, the first time I experienced the Virtual Reality of Google Expeditions, I thought it was pretty cool.  Like many teachers, however, I wondered about the practicality of using it in my classroom.  Getting VR viewers, like Google Cardboard, doesn’t seem to be a big deal.  But getting devices that fit in them (in other words, smartphones) and also that work with our district network turns out to be a bit more of a challenge.  This is especially so for elementary school, where smartphones are not quite as ubiquitous has in many secondary schools.

I was so focused on solving the problem of getting devices that I didn’t realize that we could still use Expeditions in our class without the VR feature.  We have plenty of iPads in our class, and you can actually get some decent 360 degree footage without being immersed in the scene.  It’s not quite as awe-inspiring, but certainly more engaging than still photos in a textbook.

This Smore from Karly Moura has several great links for beginners in case you are planning to embark on a journey of your own.  My favorite link leads to a list of available Expeditions that has incredible details on each tour.  After searching the internet up and down for something like this, I am thankful to Jennifer Holland and Lauren Carroll for creating and updating the document, as well as Karly for sharing the link!

mt-foraker-476613_960_720.jpg
image from Pixabay

 

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2 thoughts on “Google Expeditions”

  1. Instead of purchasing VR headsets and iPods or iPhones, I had my students create their own VR headsets out of recyclables (cardboard, plastic, etc.) to fit our iPad Mini’s. We have currently used them with cospaces.io, but these other resources you provided will be great too! It is amazing to see the thought my students are putting into their designs. They have to do a lot of measuring and making sure they cannot see any of the outside world. Then the VR headsets are tested by myself and peers, we give critiques, and the students make their next prototype to please the consumer. 🙂 I thought you had iPads, so I wanted to share it with you.

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