Imagine going sight-seeing without leaving a room. Or exploring places around the world without being there. Of course nothing beats touring or satisfying your wanderlust in flesh and blood. However there are some places that are just impossible to reach. Say, visiting celestial bodies such as the moon or even other planets. Before we get in over our heads, this innovation was actually designed for schools.
Last year Google launched a Virtual Reality program called Expedition. This allows for schools to take its students on trips without leaving the classroom. It is meant to facilitate learning and spike an interest in students.
In a school in New York, a teacher expressed delight in this new innovation. Before the use of the Cardboard goggles, her students were often uninterested in history classes but after taking a trip to the ancient Mayan ruins using Google’s Expeditions, they were abuzz with excitement and interest.
Google has taken Virtual Reality to the next level with this invention. The goggles are made of a tablet which runs Google’s expedition app and a pair of Virtual Reality goggles. They are both fitted into a Cardboard box that’s also created by google. The Cardboard/Expedition creates virtual tours of different landmarks. Examples of such include the Great Barrier Reef, the Buckingham palace, the Great Wall of China among others. It can also take the students outside the world to planets like Mars.
In the simulation, the teacher acts as a tour guide. It also features a 360 degree effect that makes the students feel they are not in a classroom but in the simulated environment.
It is easily accessible as well. When it was launched, Google took ‘kits’ to certain schools. The kit included a tablet for the teacher, a router that allows the Expedition to run without internet connection, and Google Cardboard viewers that turn the smartphones into virtual reality headsets. Today there is a beta version of the app that will allow certain schools that sign up for it to use the app in class and update Google on its efficiency. So you can try signing here.