More pupils will have the opportunity to treat their pupils and the rest of their eyes to virtual reality experiences in the classroom now that Google has expanded its Expeditions VR platform to 15 more cities.
Google's Expeditions VR platform delivers to classrooms over 120 VR experiences that pull students into an immersive journey ranging from caves and coral reefs into outer space and the moon.
The program, offered at no cost to schools and students, has expanded to serve classrooms in the U.S. cities of Alexandria, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and Washington DC.
Expeditions has also expanded its footprint abroad in serving cities in Canada (Toronto), Denmark and Singapore. The program started in September by serving select cities in the U.S., Australia, Denmark, New Zealand the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada and Singapore.
Schools which are part of the Expedition's Pioneer Program are given kits with everything they need to send students on VR field trips.
The kits include Asus smartphones and headsets that turn the handsets into VR viewers, with some relying on Google's Project Cardboard and others using Mattel's View-Master VR viewers. The teachers are given routers and tablets to guide the students through the VR excursions.
Teachers have attested to the impact the Expeditions program has on their pupils. "
"Students left school today with an everlasting memory of the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Fuji, the Borneo rainforest, the moon and many other eye-opening locations on our glorious planet," says Andriana Aguilar-Lapoint, a teacher at H.W. Schulze Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas.
The program is also changing the way teachers engage with their students, according to Michelle Guzman, a special education teacher at Dartmouth Middle School in San Jose, California.
"Teachers were amazed at the things they could do and the places they could see with their students," says Guzman. "Several are continuing lessons that developed from the field trip they experienced. I know that it will change the way I help my students adapt and learn."
Administrators looking to have their schools invited to the Pioneer Program can send a request to Google via the Expeditions website.