Today was an exciting day for Linchfield, the day that Google Expeditions came to visit our school. If you, like most of our teachers, are wondering what this entails, then just watch the video of what we got up to…
Google Expeditions is a free educational programme run by Google, in which they bring Virtual Reality headsets into school for your children to experience. We were given an extensive list of different places from around the globe to visit, and by extensive, there’s over 250 different places to explore! These places are downloaded to their headsets and brought in for your children to step into!
To tie in with our current music topic, we chose a recording studio in LA; the children literally were stood where the Rolling Stones, Kanye West and Lady Gaga had once stood. The beauty of this VR is that is gives the children the opportunity to see a 360 degree view of the place chosen- giving the illusion that they are truly there.
Alongside this, the app also gives the teacher key notes for every place chosen. This gives areas to focus on, information, and even the option to direct the children to specific points of interest within their headsets. Just like being on a school trip and pointing things out along the way!
Obviously, I couldn’t just let my class experience just one place. It would be rude not to take full advantage of the many options. Today our ‘school trip’ consisted of a recording studio, diving underwater with sharks, climbing a volcano, visiting San Diego zoo and a trip to outer space.
I can’t recommend this visit into school enough, and, with this resource being free, you should most definitely book online now!
One thing that is worth noting, if that due to Google restrictions, headsets can only be used with ages seven or over- great for Key Stage 2. For Key Stage 1 however, they didn’t miss out. We used our iPads to have a 360 panoramic view, just on a 2D basis. This is something that could easily be recreated in school and done without the need for headsets, so if your school has any iPads, I would recommend giving this a go! Simply download the Google Expeditions on your iPads or tablets and you’re away. Set up your staff iPad as the ‘leader’ and your pupil ones as ‘followers’. Download the places you would like to visit and, just like that, take your pupils to another world.