No more boring photos and films, kids! Now you can stand on the top of Chichen Itza and take a look around!
The Google Blog recently announced that Google Expeditions is becoming available in selected schools to take kids on virtual field trips. Kids will use Google Cardboard (an inexpensive VR viewer), along with Google Expeditions, to make the VR field trips possible.
(By the way, Courtney made a cool how-to video about making your own Cardboard VR headset.)
Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program will supply “kits” to teachers. The kits will have smartphones, a tablet for the teacher, a router, and Google Cardboard viewers (or Mattel View-Masters). Then teachers will be able to plan and lead field trips in virtual reality to places that are out of reach to students in real life—landmarks like the Great Wall of China, undersea locations like the Great Barrier Reef, and even extraterrestrial locations like Mars.
There is a library of more than 100 virtual trips. And groups like PBS, textbook publishers, and nonprofits like the Wildlife Conservation Society are helping to add trips to the VR portfolio. Later, special experiences will be added. One special experience that’s planned is a virtual career day to learn what it’s like to work as a veterinarian. Virtual college tours are also on the docket.
Google Expeditions will roll out first to schools in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, the U.K. and the U.S. In the U.S., the first schools will be in areas in and around San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Austin, and Houston.
The Expeditions site says, “There is no charge or cost involved in the program.” Up to 50 students at a time will be able to go on the field trips, and teachers will lead the trips using editable notes.
Teachers can check out the Expeditions Pioneer Program site to learn more about the program and sign up.