Tech giant Google yesterday introduced a series of tools that it hopes will become staples of classroom learning and interactive experiences. Announced at the International Society for Technology in Education 2016 Conference and Expo in Denver, the four tools for schools are: Google Cast for Education; Quizzes within Google Forms; creative apps on Google Chromebook; and the new Expeditions app.
While Google Cast for Education and Quizzes within Google Forms are free, the creative apps and the gear needed to run Expeditions are not. The latter product is likely to get the lion?EU?s share of attention. Students can use Expeditions to go on virtual field trips with the help of Google?EU?s Cardboard augmented reality goggles. Expeditions includes a set of 360-degree, 3D images of more than 200 locations throughout the world.
Teachers can use Expeditions to guide their students around each location with descriptions, talking points and questions. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and will soon make its way to Apple devices. Expedition can be used by students with the Google Cardboard app on their smartphones or 2D screen mode on their tablets.
Schools can buy Expeditions kits from Best Buy Education. Each kits includes 30 student devices and viewers, a teacher device, chargers and a router. The bundle price for the kit from Best Buy is $9,999. The kits are ready for pre-orders and will be shipped by the time school starts in the fall.
Is it worth it? Alexis Macklin, an analyst at Greenlight VR, told us the answer is yes. “Researchers have proven that people exposed to VR have developed longer-lasting memories as they feel like they experienced the content first-hand,” said Macklin. “Therefore, for educators, bringing virtual reality to students could have a longer-lasting effect on their learning process than watching a standard…