At its I/O developer conference earlier this year, Google revealed a new app called Expeditions that would allow teachers to create virtual field trips using its Cardboard virtual reality viewer. Details at the time were sparse, but the company today has shared a blog post on its education blog that offers some more details on Expeditions.
In the blog post, Google revealed that it is starting to expand Expeditions to teachers and schools in the United States, Australia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The expansion is part of a program it is calling the “Expeditions Pioneer Program.” Google says it will continue to expand the program as the year progresses.
To make the process as seamless as possible, Google says it will provide teachers with everything they need to hold a virtual field trip. Google will be giving schools a kit that includes a tablet for the teacher, Asus Zenfone 2s and either Cardboard viewers or Mattel View-Master viewers for the kids, and a router that will allow Expeditions to run offline.
Right now, teachers can choose from a library of 100+ virtual trips to places like Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China. But we’re constantly adding more trips with the help of partners like PBS, educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, British documentarian David Attenborough and his production company Alchemy VR, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. We’re also working with The Starfish Foundation to help students explore future careers by showing them a virtual day in the life of professionals including a veterinarian and computer scientist. And to help students achieve those career goals, we’re working with First Lady Michelle Obama to support her Reach Higher initiative by taking students on virtual college tours.
Interested teachers and schools can signup for the Expeditions Pioneer Program on Google’s website. There’s no charge or cost, either, as Google’s main goal is to further the education of children.
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