29th November 2016

Pupils go ‘Google-y eyed’ for immersive learning

St Aldhelm’s students enjoyed a whistle-stop tour around the world from the comfort of their classroom – thanks to the latest ‘immersive learning’ technology from Google.

We were fortunate enough to be one of the first schools in the country to try out Google Expedition – a virtual reality learning aid which has already been piloted by schools in the United States.

Google Expedition uses simple cardboard ‘viewers’ which are fitted with magnifying lenses and mobile phones.

The class teacher then downloads the expedition app on a tablet or computer and is able to send synchronised three-dimensional 360° panoramas to each student’s viewer, pointing out areas of interest in real time and taking them on a journey of discovery.

St Aldhelm’s geography teacher, Frances Timms, said: “It really is amazing.

“This morning I have taken students to Angel Falls and the busy streets of New Delhi.

“We’ve also stood alongside dinosaurs and been up close to sharks in their natural environment.

“The students actually feel that they are experiencing these places and when that happens it makes learning even more exciting.”

Student Ella Greene, said: “You feel like you are actually in the water, alongside the sharks. It’s amazing. It’s so much better than just looking at pictures in books. You actually feel like you are there.”

The headsets are also being trialled by King’s Park Academy in Bournemouth and could eventually be purchased and used by schools across Ambitions Academies Trust.

Sian Thomas, executive principal, said: “We pride ourselves on the excellence of our IT department and are always open to new technology which can help our pupils to learn about the world and science.

“I look forward to hearing their feedback on Google Expedition and also trying one of those headsets myself.”

Recent News