Today started early at 7:15 with a quick training for our teachers. They learned how to control the expeditions and guide the students through over 200 different trips. The teacher has the ability to guide the students with arrows that pop up in the student viewer, and guiding questions that only show on the teacher tablet. These features will make this tool a "must-have" in our schools next year!
With all of the hype surrounding the day, of course many central office staff, principals, and other teachers had to come and check out the greatness! I wish that EVERY student in Commerce ISD would have had the chance to experience the expeditions!
With our Commerce School Educational Enrichment Foundation (CSEEF) grants applications due in 2 weeks, I foresee a few teachers asking for class sets of these! I hope to be able to get a set (or 2) for each campus to share.
Superintendent Blake Cooper became an explorer too!
Expeditions are collections of virtual reality panoramas—360° photo spheres, 3D images and video, and ambient sounds—annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. Partners like the American Museum of Natural History, the Planetary Society, David Attenborough with production company Alchemy VR, and many of the museums and other partners of the Google Cultural Institute are helping Google to create custom educational content for Expeditions.
Expeditions are accessed and viewed through an app that allows a teacher to choose a trip and lead a group of students through a virtual Expedition. Teachers are able to point out specific details within the panorama, pause trips to get the class’s attention, play ambient sounds to make the experience even more immersive, and let students freely explore on their own.
While Expeditions can be used on devices already in the classroom, they come alive with Google Cardboard. Our Expeditions kit is a collection of all the hardware needed to go on Expeditions in full virtual reality—a tablet for the guide, VR viewers for each student, a speaker to provide ambient sounds and a durable box to transport, charge, and store it all.
Oh, and this is my other favorite "explorer" of the day. Not sure where she gets her animated explanations! :)
Are you interested in bringing a Google Expedition to your campus? Sign up here! Not sure how long they are going to offer this program, but it can't hurt to ask!
Keeping it Techy,