Teachers and some very excited students at Vista Elementary recently got to experience Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. The program is currently in a testing phase using devices without the need for Google Cardboard viewers.
The teachers first received a brief training from the Google representative. Devices and materials were provided for students to use during the class sessions.
Students scanned codes with mobile devices attached to selfie sticks. Augmented reality objects appeared on the student devices as the teacher paced the activity from the app. Each new animal or object brought palpable enthusiasm!
Google’s beta app had many explorations for the teachers to choose from including: space, sea creatures, the circulatory system, volcanoes, and numerous others.
Students were able to view the animals and objects from different angles. They controlled the point of view by moving around, above and below the 3D objects. They moved closer and backed away to change the perspective. Students could look into the layers of the Earth or see what lies below a volcano. They viewed swirling tornadoes and other weather phenomena from every angle. Each new object and discovery brought about audible fascination!
Student inquiry filled the room. Questions were popping up all over as students wondered about what they were seeing. This led to some meaningful conversations among teachers and students as a class.