There is nothing like an actual experience to enhance a classroom lesson! Can you imagine learning about space travel while being on the international space station? What about feeling as if you are floating underwater in the Galapagos Islands or numerous other underwater locations to study coral? Did you want to stand at the base of Hamlet’s castle while reading the novel? What about feeling as if you can kneel and touch the marble stone that was believed to be the place where Christ’s body was anointed with myrrh and aloe prior to burial? What would it feel like to stand at base camp on Everest or view the Great Wall of China for as far as the eye can see? Would you like to penguins up close? How about feeling as if you will breathe in dust while in the middle of a dust storm in the Dust Bowl? These are just a few of the experiences that students at Porter-Gaud School have had the opportunity to enjoy this school year.
A goal I have as the Technology and Innovation Specialist is to enhance the learning experience through the use of unique technology experiences. Google Expeditions do just that! There are over 900 virtual reality (VR) experiences available. These experiences are truly for all subject areas and grade levels. There are even expeditions available in different languages. Here is how I integrate the glasses in our curriculum:
- First, I spend an extensive amount of time learning about the experiences and familiarizing myself with each lesson. Yes- this means lots of times with goggles on! I feel like I am a world traveler!
- Then I put the experiences into categories by subject area. Keep in mind that I am very knowledgeable about our curriculum since I work closely with the classroom teachers. I am well aware of topics, units and main content taught at each grade level and in each subject area.
- Finally, I reach out to the teachers and share the spreadsheet with lesson options that I feel will enhance their classroom experiences. I also share the main Google Expeditions spreadsheet containing the 900 activities so the teachers can also choose from others, if needed.
- Once teachers choose lessons, I set up training dates and make sure the teachers feel confident to use the Google Expedition goggles to enhance their lessons!
These goggles have made such a difference in the educational experiences of both the teachers and the students at Porter-Gaud School! If you have a chance at all to try them, please do!
Google Expeditions – spreadsheet of over 900 expeditions
Google Site for Goggles – Google site with more info about the goggles as well as AR and other opportunities.