On Monday 6th February Ivanhoe College students had an amazing opportunity.
Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme is a new app based product that 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. The Wildlife Conservation Society, PBS, the American Museum of Natural History, the Planetary Society, and the Palace of Versailles contributed to developing the curriculum for students. These 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 nothing replaces hopping on the bus for a field trip, Expeditions provide an unparalleled opportunity for supplemental learning.
Students use a Google Cardboard, which is a virtual reality viewer made almost entirely of actual cardboard, to immerse themselves in the experience. Cardboard allows anyone with a modern smartphone to experience virtual reality.
A Google associate was at school all day, training the Ivanhoe staff in the morning and assisting the delivery of the sessions for students throughout the day. They brought with them 60 phones, 60 Google Cardboards and 2 tablets to run the Expeditions from. Teachers use the tablet to guide what the students can see through their viewers, as well as providing facts about what they can see.
Our students took part in a number of sessions that included a virtual trip around Google Head Office, as far away as Quebec and the Taj Mahal, as well as exploring under the sea, in space and an exhilarating trip around the human respiratory system. The students could not believe the eye-watering realism of the views that allowed them to immerse themselves in the sessions led by their teachers.
Year 9 student Lottie was very impressed, “This is so cool!”, she said, “I’m definitely going to download this at home!”
Isobel from Year 8 said, “I liked visiting Brazil, it was great flying over the sea. It was bit scary though as it was so real”
Sekou from Year 7 said, “The graphics were much better than I thought they’d be, the 3d effects were really good.”
Subject Leader for Computing Mr Thornewill said, ”This is such an exciting new opportunity for schools, and we are very proud to have been selected as one of the first schools to experience it. The level of excitement & engagement from both our staff and students shows this technology has the potential to greatly add to the already fantastic, learning that takes place here at Ivanhoe.”
We hope you enjoy some of these photos from the day.
This video show an extract from a Science lesson, where Year 7 students were led through the circulatory system by their teacher.
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