By Lois Grasso, Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center Instructional Coach
Do you want your students to visit new countries, explore historical landmarks, or swim through a coral reef? Then Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool, is for you.
Google Expeditions was mentioned in this blog over a year ago; however, at that time it only worked with android devices coupled with Google cardboard viewfinders like the ones in the pic below.
I am happy to report that as of September, 2016 Google Expeditions now works with iOS devices.
If your school has a cart of iPads or is 1:1, you can use them for Google Expedition tours. The app is free and has already been pushed out to the middle school iPads. The Google Expedition iPad app allows students to move the device around in the air to explore a tour in 360 degrees without the cardboard viewfinders. All the while the teacher directs the tour using the talking points provided by the app. Note: you can also purchase google cardboard viewfinders that attach to mobile phones for a more immersive tour.
Sample expedition of Buckingham Palace – view on a Smartphone or iPad to experience the virtual reality effect
The flow for iPad Expeditions is as follows:
- Download the app onto the teacher iPad
- Download the app onto student iPads
- Make sure both teacher and students are on the same Wi-Fi
- Download the expedition from the app that you want to use in the class
- Launch the Expeditions app on the teacher tablet and set it up to wait for the clients to connect (lead an expedition)
- Start presenting the selected Expedition to the students
There are about 200 expeditions available for download using the app. The Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace, Rio, Mount Everest and Sharks for instance. Better yet, the teacher tour comes with talking points. Take your class on a virtual tour soon.