Google Brings Virtual Reality to Students in Maine
Students at York High School in Maine, got to go on a virtual reality field trip to places far away such as World War II Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Mexico, Edinburgh, Verona, Madagascar, London and Italy.
The virtual reality experience was powered by Google who sent some of their employees to different schools throughout the world to help test their Google Expeditions program. The Google Expeditions program is made up of 360 degree photo panoramas and virtual reality video that students are able to view on their phone and the Google Cardboard headset.
Google is bringing this program to many other locations as well, including Portland, Oregon.
Google’s employee at York High School, Fitzsimmon Ogbo, said, “We already have more than 300 different expeditions available, and we’re still adding locations. Without spending thousands of dollars to go there, students can see these places they’ve been reading about in class.”
Google has also partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, PBS and the Palace of Versailles to create different curriculum for each location. The teachers lead the “expedition” as they guide their class.
One of York’s students, Will Pratt, said, “It’s really cool. You feel like you’re there.”
Another student at York High School, Tommy McCarthy, said, “It’s kind of weird, but it’s a good weird. I like it.”
As history teacher Bill True taught his students about historic events such as WWII and Hiroshima, he also warned them about how serious nuclear weapons are. Bill said, “I felt like a tour guide in a time machine. We can’t afford to bring them to Auschwitz, and all they’ve seen are pictures in a textbook or computer screen. This brings those places to life,” he said. “This is fun. This is geared for their generation and this is their way to learn.”