Google Expeditions Opens the World

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Google Expeditions App

Google Expeditions is the app for Android or iOS which allows a teacher (or student) to lead a guide trip which others can follow.  It is designed to work best with the leader to be on a tablet (iOS or Android) and participants to be on a smartphone or iPod Touch placed into a Google Cardboard VR headset.  There are over 450 Expeditions and more added each week.  Each expedition includes multiple 360° scenes and a set of guiding questions.  Currently only Google content partners can create expeditions – but it is expected Google will allow others – such as your students, to create and contribute to the Expedition collection.    

Three important considerations before starting down the Expedition path.

  • Google Cardboard VR headsets are not all the same.  Avoid the $5 cardboard headsets and opt for the $15 – 20 plastic headsets where the lenses distance can be adjusted for different size screens and there is an optical correction adjustment (for use without eye glasses.)
  • You need Smartphone – easier to find with secondary students, but for elementary classroom – you may need to purchase or ask parents (or cell phone companies) to donate old smartphones.  And the device needs to have both an accelerometer (more common) and a gyroscope sensor (less common on less expensive devices.)
  • The network must allow peer-to-peer sharing.  Peer-to-peer sharing is often disabled to make a network more secure.  Have a discussion with your tech department about available options – including creation of a special peer-to-peer network specifically for Expedition use, or the use of a dedicated router for Expedition use and not connected to the network.

These resources can help you get started with Expeditions

Students using Google Cardboard VR headsets with Google Expeditions
Google Cardboard Expeditions by Barrett.Discovery (2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/32561453@N05/23937327823/ Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Photo Attribution by PhotosForClass.com

Author

(@andrewmmann): Director REMC 4, Instructional Technology Consultant at Muskegon Area ISD and MACUL Board Member.

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