Google Expeditions is a free app that lets teachers take their students on a 360-degree virtual field trip. For a 3D experience view using Google Cardboard or view as a single 360-degree view on an IPAD.
With over 200 different Google Expeditions (underwater sea exploration to the international space station, from Machu Pichu to the Great Wall of China), the teacher can select a curriculum related expedition, highlight important features on the tour, invite questions, and probe to help their students think more about the expedition. With Google Cardboard it is an immersive 3D experience that would provoke inquiry questions and engage students.
- Download Google Expeditions and install the app on your student devices. Android from the Play Store or get the app on iOS from the Apple Store. Install IPAd, IPOD, Android or IOS phone devices.
- Sign onto the same WIFI network. Must be one that allows peer to peer networking.
Or you can also use a router. (In many schools, you would need to set up a local network since the secure wifi network may not allow you to do peer to peer networking – you can do this with an inexpensive router)
- Select an expedition and download the expedition. Each expedition consists of a series of scenes.
On the teacher device, the teacher will select Leader and the students on their devices will select Follow.
- When on a tour, look for the smiley face icons on your teacher device. These show you where your students are.
- Points of Interest. Each tour has a teacher script which is not something you just want to read aloud. Read ahead of time and pick out the things that you think would be the most relevant for your students. When you select the script an arrow will appear for your students and it will point them to this target symbol. Be prepared for questions from the explorers about things they see that are not on your script. Have your key questions about the Expedition ready. Take time to let the students experience the Expedition before you dive in with additional information.
- Google Expeditions kits are available in Canada through Best Buy. They include student devices, virtual reality viewers, a rapid charger, teacher device, router, case. They come in kits for 10, 20 or 30 students.