When I worked on the Google Expeditions Programme in the UK, I was required to gather feedback from schools and communicate this back to program managers. One of the most common suggestions I received was about how great it would be to have a ‘solo’ mode so that students could research and discover for themselves.
I’ve spent a fair bit of time playing around with ‘solo’ mode and it’s a lot of fun! In order to start a ‘solo’ expedition, make sure you are set-up as a ‘lead’. Following this, click on your chosen expedition and select the mask icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. Once you’ve done this you should be ready to go!
Here are four things you should know about ‘solo’ mode in Google Expeditions.
- Info cards for the points of interest (POI)One request from teachers was to allow students to be able to visualise some of the information that was available through the guide tablet. Well, now you can…each POI comes with a small description that students can read. Once you have finished learning about that POI, you can use the action button on your headset to bring up the next POI.
POI description available through ‘self-guided’ mode
- Option to have a narratorIf you prefer not to read the info cards, you can turn on a narrator mode that explains the POIs for you. Again, like you can with info cards, you can move onto the next narration point using the action button on your headset. In my opinion, this is the coolest addition to the Google Expeditions app.
The far right icon allows you to turn narration on/off
- All controlled by one buttonA great benefit of using ‘solo’ mode is that it’s completely controlled by one button. Once you select ‘solo’ mode and place your phone into your headset, you don’t need to remove your phone to select another scene or expedition. You can download expeditions whilst in the headset, you can search for expeditions using the new search bar and you can browse different scenes from the homepage.
Accessible homes screen New search bar added to ‘solo’ mode
- Google are adding an annotations feature to Expeditions
One feature we can look forward to is the annotations feature which Google are planning to add to the Expeditions app. Using your finger, you will be able to draw and highlight specific things in a scene.
VR is already transforming the education sector. Resources such as Google Expeditions are being used in schools across the UK to help create awe and wonder. If you are interested in VR, follow us on Twitter (@primevruk) for further tips and ideas for incorporating VR into your school. We also provide free resources such as lesson plans for Google Expeditions that can be downloaded here.
If you have any questions about VR, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.