google fhPress release from Fair Haven School District

Thanks to a partnership between Google and the Fair Haven School District, students from Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools enjoyed a recent a “virtual reality” field trip experience, courtesy of an event showcasing Google Expeditions. The schools were among the first chosen for beta testing, from a wait list of approximately 6,500 schools.

Google Expeditions associates visited both schools on November 17 to introduce Expeditions to students in grades one through eight. Expeditions is a program that Google has created — using a cardboard viewing device, smartphones, and the Google Expeditions app — to create a virtual experience of places and activities. Google views Expeditions as the “next level” in learning, since students can actively engage in the lesson.

During the Expeditions showcase, Sickles and Knollwood teachers were able to project images to the smartphones contained in their students’ cardboard viewing devices. By turning to the

left or right or pivoting in place, students could achieve a panoramic view of places or proceedings. Talking points provided by Google allowed the teachers to explain exactly what the students were experiencing.

Gabrielle Illiano’s eighth- grade class, for example, experienced a day in the life of a Public Defense Attorney.

“You are speaking with a Civil Advocate and an Immigration Attorney in the County Hall of Justice,” Illiano told the students as they moved their cardboard devices about excitedly, taking  in every image within the panorama. “Now you are in the courthouse waiting for your client’s cases to be called.”

Available for use on any IPhone or Android, the Google Expeditions app should be available free of charge in late December of this year.