Virtual Field Trips Introduced by Google

Google just launched a new program called Google Expeditions. Expeditions is a virtual reality platform, built to allow teachers to take their students anywhere around the world, via virtual headset.

Starting with more than 100 journeys for teachers and students to go on, Expedition is a pioneer program to immerse students in new cultures and experiences. By using a tablet, teachers will be able to guide up to 50 students through different journeys wearing the headset.

Dr. Courtnay Micots, Art Historian and Professor at Florida A&M University, feels like virtual field trips would add a new dynamic to her lessons.

“Anything to help students learn is a great thing,” Micots expressed. “I think my students would really enjoy feeling like they are right there with the art as they learn about it.”

Nia Henderson, fourth-year FAMU business and industry student from Miami, Fla.,  feels like this is going to be beneficial to the students.

“This will allow students to get a taste of different cultures,” Henderson explained. “I feel like it will motivate students to want to study abroad when they get to college, and employers love students who have travelled outside of the country because it develops their interpersonal skills. I honestly wish this program was around when I was in high school.”

Jaliyl DeVillasee, fourth-year FAMU business and industry marketing student from Washington, D.C., was hesitant about the new program, but later began to see all the benefits it had to offer.

“When you first hear virtual field trip, it sounds like you’re getting the joy of the trip taken away from you by having to be stuck in class,” DeVillasee said. “But after learning more about the program, I feel like it is a great opportunity for students to get a chance to visit places beyond their wildest dreams.”

Starting with the U.S., Expedition teams are visiting selected schools around the world in order to explain to teachers how the program works and help set it up before their classes.