Google Brings Virtual Reality to Teachers and Their Students
Google is bringing virtual reality to Marshall Middle School Students and the students had an opportunity to take a virtual reality tour with the Google Expedition Pioneer Program. Students had a lot of interesting reactions during his tour. “Did you see the big sphinx? It scared me,” one student said as he looked into a cardboard box. Another student was so surprised at the pillars of the Taj Mahal while some other student couldn’t get over how small Mount Everest appeared to him. With the help of this Expedition Program by Google, students were able to see the world from the comfort of their classrooms.
Google Expedition Pioneer Program: A Tool for Maximum Learning Experience
Google has gone on to introduce a new product called Expedition. The product allows teachers to take their students on virtual field trips and excursions. The aim of this product is to show students the world so that they might understand it better without having to leave their classrooms. This product is a virtual reality platform built specifically for the classroom. With this virtual reality platform, students can now go on guided tours of places their school buses couldn’t even dream of going. The virtual reality content brings the lessons learned in the classroom to life.
“It was like being in the sky and seeing below, the glaciers and the snow,” eighth-grade student Ariana Serrano said about Antarctica. “It was cool how you can move around and see everything. I saw sea lions and different types of penguins.”
“I thought it was cool and a fun experience,” Serrano said. She said she was surprised at the research stations on Antarctica. “I don’t think I will be able to go there.”
“It was cool because it was something I would never see in the ocean,” eighth-grade student Gus Timpel said of the experience. He was able to see into the ocean with using the special device that allowed for 3D images. “I thought we would be able to walk around, but it was still cool.”
The teachers also have been excited to use this technology to show their students the world. “It was exciting to take the kids somewhere they may never be able to go,” said Anna Lisa Dahlgren, an eighth grade social studies teacher.
Jessica Mayo who is a social studies teacher learned of the virtual reality experience from a blog and she got together with other teachers and went on to apply to Google for the experience. The school where she teaches along with two other schools were selected to participate in Google Expeditions. All the seventh and eighth grade students from Marshall were able to explore the world of virtual reality.
With the help of a simple cardboard viewer and a smartphone, students were able to experience virtual reality and teachers helped pick destinations where the students could visit and see the sights through the box. The teachers had access to what the students were viewing and consequently directed them to the various highlights of all the scenes. Students were able to visit the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Coliseum in Rome, the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt and a host of other very interesting places. One teacher even took his students to see the Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
With the help of virtual reality and Google’s Expedition, teachers and students stand to benefit immensely by taking advantage of all the capabilities of this new technology. The possibilities are so much.