I first had the chance to play with Google Expeditions at #NJPAECET2, a conference this fall. Jonathan Rochelle let us try it out, and my mind was blown. All of a sudden, I was standing on a cliff, looking down into certain three dimensional zoom. I came back to my school excited about what I saw and its potential to take students where they could never go before.
Not only was the experience engaging and immersive, but had such untapped educational potential. Students can go under the sea, to outer space, and back in time. We can explore the world of an engineer and experience future career options. English and social studies students visit World War II sites to learn about our history. And what if we could go further: inside a body or a cell? Or even more powerful, what about the inevitable day when we can create our own Expeditions and share our community with the world.
When Google announced the Expeditions Pioneer program, where they would visit schools to test the product, I jumped on the opportunity, and today the magical day has come. Eighteen classes, including every subject area, will participate today, exploring dozens of virtual fieldtrips. The response so far?: “We should use these every day!”
Below, find some pictures and video of our day. Next, I plan to have my students and participating teachers give feedback about Expeditions and how it could be used in their education. My students are also tweeting about Expeditions they would like to create (check #SchoenTell and #OssiningPride for more). Next week, I plan to share their feedback and learning so you can hear from students about how awesome the experience truly is. I’ve heard about and experienced a lot of new technology in education, and with its low cost and incredible potential, #GoogleExpeditions is truly a game changer.
cross posted at www.aschoenbart.com
Adam Schoenbart is a high school English teacher, Google Education Trainer, and EdD candidate in Educational Leadership. He teaches grades 10-12 in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom at Ossining High School in Westchester County, NY and received the 2014 LHRIC Teacher Pioneer Award for innovative uses of technology that change teaching and learning. Read more at The SchoenBlog and connect on Twitter @MrSchoenbart.