On Thursday, March 24th Google sent Fitzsimon “Simon” Ogbo to the Groton Dunstable Regional Middle School to take 20 classes on Google Expedition Pioneer virtual reality tours ranging from the Great Wall of China to the Globe theater and beyond. Simon came equipped with 2 sets of 30 virtual reality viewers (a combination of a google cardboard viewer and a smartphone running the Google Expeditions App). The viewers are modern-day View Masters, but the experience has moved from 2d imagery to 3d 360 degree views of the locations that were visited.
The school had to apply for the opportunity to participate in the program. Students from grades 5 – 8 visited the library and computer lab to be immerse in a tour lead by their teacher. Students were “wowed” by the expeditions and remarked about how real the expeditions felt. The expeditions were easily weaved into the curriculum being taught currently in the classrooms.
Currently the software is available in beta version for Android devices only, and students were told that they were beta testers for the app. They were encouraged to suggest improvements to the software and tour choices. In the near future, the app will be available for free on both Android and ios devices. Viewers are already available from amazon or google.com ranging from $5 – $25.