This week Google Expeditions visited San Domenico School as part of its Expeditions Pioneer Program. Google Expeditions teams are visiting selected schools around the world, starting with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. Curriculum for the students has been developed by contributions from The Wildlife Conservation Society, PBS, the American Museum of Natural History, the Planetary Society, and the Palace of Versailles.
Google Expeditions allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips, immersing students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life and giving students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom. Expeditions provide everything you need to travel: a tablet for the teacher, and cardboard viewers and phones for every student. Next, the teacher selects a destination, and the entire classroom jumps there automatically. Expeditions trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° photo spheres, 3D images and video, ambient sounds — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools.
While field trips as experiential learning will never be replaced, Expeditions provides an unparalleled opportunity for supplemental learning, and opens doors of experience most students may never otherwise have.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our students this opportunity,” states SD Director of Education Technology, Kali Baird. “There is no charge or cost involved in the program and we are grateful to have been selected, and for the Google team who will show our teachers how Expeditions works and help set it up before classes.”