Tch Tech Follow Up: Google Expeditions Are Going, Going…

Teachers control the VR headsets with a tablet which also allows them to highlight content for students.

Teachers control the VR headsets with a tablet which also allows them to highlight content for students.

Last week, I shared a short clip showing you the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. This international program brings immersive and engaging experiences to schools via virtual reality technology that you can try at home. Google is sending ambassadors with class sets of VR headsets throughout the Chicagoland area from now through November 11th. Hey! That’s just FOUR WEEKS away!

For that reason I am reaching out to YOU, 2nd through 12th grade science or social studies teacher, to tell you more about Google Expeditions so you’ll bring them to your school. To push you along, here are five reasons why you should take the time to recruit five other teachers for this amazing field trip in your classroom.

1. I saw a kid’s brain explode.

And I caught it on video–you’ll see it at the 20-second mark of the clip, and it’s AMAZING. I saw a lot of brains exploding while NTA students embarked on their explorations through the tundras of Russia, undersea near the Galapagos Islands or the ruins of Machu Picchu. That spontaneous outpouring of excitement for learning represents one of the reasons why we love our jobs so much, and there’s an excellent chance you’ll see the same thing if they visit your school.

2. The content is diverse, plentiful and amazing.

Often you’ll see that new technology-based pilot programs offer very little content as they get rolling. That’s not the case with Expeditions. With the help of educators from around the world, they have created over 100 immersive journeys for your students. All of them offer teachers’ notes and tons of depth so it’s easy to connect the VR content to whatever you’re teaching.

3. It’s really easy to sign up–you just need to grab five teaching buddies.

They set up a Google Form to get you started. It should take only a few minutes to complete it and they will get back to your team VERY quickly. NTA’s Mia Leonard heard back from them two days after filling out that form, and they were at NTA a week later. So it’s a quick process.

Jacob from Google helping NTA's teachers navigate through Expeditions.

Jacob from Google helping NTA’s teachers navigate through Expeditions.

4. Google’s project leads are super helpful and nice.

In addition to the 50+ headsets that Google sent to NTA last week, they also sent their project leads Jacob and Heather. They led a 30-minute orientation about the headsets before school and were on the spot with any technical issues. Their attention to the technology left a lot more time for teaching and exploring with the headsets.

5. You may not get an opportunity like this again for awhile

Okay, I didn’t want to pull the FOMO card, but if you read this far you’re probably still not convinced. Google is only visiting four cities in this initial program, and there’s no telling if or when they will be back. If you want to embark on these inspiring explorations with your classroom, you really do have to act now. NOW!

Did you already sign up for Expeditions? Did you have a chance to try out the viewers? How did you students like the experience? What questions do you have? Leave your questions and comments in the space below.

Good luck on your adventures!

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