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One million children to try virtual reality field trips

Google aims to take one million pupils in Britain on virtual reality school trips with Google Expeditions

Posted by Hannah Oakman | December 15, 2016 | Technology

With Google Expeditions, teachers across Britain will be able to take students on immersive, virtual reality field trips, based on the UK curriculum. With Google Cardboard (a virtual reality viewer) students can explore everywhere from Mars and the Great Barrier Reef to the inside of Buckingham Palace or Edinburgh Castle, right from the classroom.

While nothing replaces going on a school trip, teachers can use this technology to bring students on virtual trips to places they could never otherwise get to. Expeditions provides a unique opportunity for supplemental learning by giving students new ways of exploring the concepts and places they are studying – from museums and natural wonders, to underwater and outer space, to exploring inside the human body or experiencing careers at Aston Martin or in the operating theatre.

With the range of expeditions available I think that kids will not just be inspired to consider a vast range of careers but will also be able to reach for the stars themselves

An Expeditions coordinator and a box arrives with everything schools 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. In order for teachers to seamlessly include these Expeditions in their lessons, Google partnered with Twig and TES to tailor this content to the UK curriculum with easy-to-use lesson plans.

Google Expeditions asks for teachers in both primary and secondary schools in Britain to sign-up for this free programme which will aim to transport over one million students to places they would never otherwise be able to go through virtual reality school trips. 

Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Space and Accessibility Scientist, said: “To try to inspire the next generation of space scientists and STEM practitioners I like to take kids on ‘Tours of the Universe’. With this technology it really feels one-step closer to actually being out there. With the range of Expeditions available I think that kids will not just be inspired to consider a vast range of careers but will also be able to reach for the stars themselves. I wish this was around when I was young.”

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