The Irvine Unified School District was selected to pilot Google Expeditions, a fully immersive virtual reality platform that provides teachers and students with access to educational virtual field trips. There are more than 100 Expeditions that range from trips to the Amazon, Buckingham Palace, Gettysburg, Madagascar, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, the Moon, and more.
With 360° panoramic photo spheres, 3D images and video that include annotated details, highlights and questions, the program is designed to easily integrate into curriculum already used in schools.
Twelve IUSD schools are participating in the pilot, including more than 7,500 4th-12th grade students. Adding to the excitement, ABC7 news visited Oak Creek Elementary to film the experience (air date: 10/26/15 at 4 p.m. abc7.com/).
Guided by their teachers, Oak Creek students were able to visit the Amazon, Ancient Greece, the Galapagos Islands, the Natural History Museum, and more exciting locations. Among the screams and cheers of excitement, students could be heard saying, “Whoa…no way!” to “This is so cool!” to “I wish we could do this every day.”
Principal Carlo Grasso best summed up the experience, “We continually look for new ways to make learning fun and beneficial for our students and it doesn’t get any better than this.”