Students and staff at Leggee Elementary School were among select participants nationwide to help Google test its new Expeditions initiative, which allows classrooms to take virtual 360-degree field trips to locations throughout the world and even outer space.
The Expeditions work by combining Google’s Cardboard viewer with smartphones and a tablet controlled by a teacher. The teacher can then select from a number of global and interstellar locations to have the class tour. In addition, facts and other information about the tour locations is available to the teachers, helping them integrate the virtual field trips to their curriculum.
About 20 classrooms at Leggee participated on Monday, visiting locations such as Mount Rushmore, Yosemite National Park, the floor of the Caribbean Sea, and the moon.
“Most of our teachers have been starting with places that tie into their science or social studies curriculum. For example, second grade studies landforms as part of their science,” said Katrina McLaughlin, Leggee’s technology instructional coach, who helped coordinate the Google visit. “They can explore some of those in sort-of real life. So it’s much different from just looking at a picture.”
Learn more about Google Expeditions at https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/.