Virtual Field Trips Made Possible by New Google Expedition Program
Career Path : Education News
Google’s new Expedition Pioneer Program is taking teachers and students across North America on virtual voyages to the deep sea, outer space, the Great Wall of China, and more!
While traditional field trips have strict time and money constraints (and could never take children to such extreme destinations) Google Expedition is what teachers are calling an “affordable and educational solution.”
With official Google guides visiting students, and Google Cardboard viewer technology, guided Google Expeditions are taking students beyond the four walls of their classrooms and into cyberspace. Teachers can select particular Expeditions that align with the curriculum and lessons at hand, and guide their students’ exploration through a tablet that communicates with the iPhones inlaid in the students’ Cardboard viewers. They can slow or speed up the pace of the exploration and direct students’ attention to different aspects of the virtual destination through the apps installed on the tablet and iPhones, just as a teacher would do while guiding students through a real-world field trip.
Dr. Nicole Howard, teacher, journalist, and tech enthusiast, says this technology evens the playing field for students from diverse geographic and socio-economic backgrounds. When Google lends out the technology, there are no travel costs involved and these field trips are free.
“All of that said, I would not want to take away from the importance of going on actual field trips,” Dr. Howard explains. “However, virtual field trips such as Google Expeditions offer one idea for bringing the trip to students and teachers.”