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!