On the 22nd of March Google came to St Aidans to run their expeditions program. The expeditions are a new product that allows teachers to take their classes on virtual school trips and also giving students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.
The special Google phones allow students to see a 360 degree photo spheres with 3D images depending on where the pupils tilts their head. This product is annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to interrogate. Some schools are already using this product in classrooms. Having experienced one of the virtual reality ‘trips’, Sr. Ann said it was one of those “WOW educational experience for students and teachers”.
The expeditions took place in the library and the Luas Lecture Room. In each room the teacher had a tablet and was able to select a destination (for example ‘Petra’, ‘Space’, ‘Roman Ruins’, ‘Verona: Romeo or Juliet’ or ‘the London Eye’) and all the students could see ‘Petra’ or ‘Space’ on the phone that are contained in cardboard viewers. The Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, PBS, the Planetary Society and the Palace of Versailles contributed to developing the curriculum for students. One of our second year students exclaimed that everyone was “amazed at the technology and the destinations - everyone was blown away by how realistic the expeditions were”.
We were thrilled and delighted to be one of just 10 schools to have been selected to take part in the program. 300 lucky students got to experience the expeditions throughout the day. The students and teachers were amazed and everyone said they had not heard as many “ooooh’s and aaaah’s” from everyone! Ms. Sloyan said ‘It’s the most positive experience I have ever had in St. Aidans – the joy on everyone’s face is amazing!!’
Gloria Sogoba & Blessing Edwin