Sunday, October 2, 2016

Google Expeditions - The WOW Factor!

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend EdCampSD in Escondido and learn from Jen Roberts as she shared Google Expeditions. I had read about Expeditions, which was released shortly after my Google GEO Teacher Institute in June 2015, but hadn't tried it myself.

- I had actually participated in a web meeting with an Expeditions team member this past spring with two of my kids. He interviewed them about what they were interested in exploring in Antarctica. It was pretty cool to have a connection to Expeditions and I've been really excited to get started.

So Jen pulled out a few Google Cardboard boxes and had us all download the Expeditions app to our phones or ipads. Out of about 30+ people in the room, we had about 8 viewers so most of us just used our devices without the viewer.

First take away - We don't need to use cardbooard or a VR viewer to do an Expedition! It works just fine full screen on our phones or tablets. The device just needs to have a gyro.

Next, she had me set up as a leader on my ipad. It's as simple as clicking LEAD on the app. I searched for an Expedition - chose an Underwater Excursion, downloaded it - and off we went. Others in the room opened the app, found my name and clicked JOIN.

Teacher View - Starting Expedition
Student View - JOIN Teacher's Expedition

Seeing the teacher and student view at the same time was exactly what I needed to understand how this works and be ready to share with my class and my team mates. I can't wait! We are going on some Expeditions! Next stop - Mt. Everest! or Yosemite! or the Googleplex! or Stanford! or Antarctica! So many choices!!

Student View - Waiting for Teacher to Press Play

Student View - Toggle Between VR Viewer and Full Screen

Student View - Full Screen

Teacher View - Swipe cards to the left for next scenes

Teacher View - Select Feature to View. Happy faces show where students are looking

Student View - Arrow shows where the teacher wants you to look

Student View - Target Feature

Student View - Cardboard Mode
While it would be pretty fun to have a class full of VR viewers, knowing that this is possible without is exciting! I have 7 ipads in our class and can probably borrow others from colleagues. We could set up a list of those on our site willing to share and schedule Expeditions to some of these amazing places!
Thank you, Jen, for sharing this amazing resource!