Recently, Google announced a new addition to their Expeditions Pioneer Programme that will allow schools to create their own content. Naturally, this always felt like the next step. Whilst working on the Pioneer Programme, teachers would frequently ask me “when will we be able to create and add our own content?” The option for students to curate and produce their own content is not only helping to develop their digital skills but also gives them another dimension to showcasing and presenting their projects or assignments. You can apply to be a part of this Beta program here. If selected, Google will provide you with all the equipment you need to create your own immersive expeditions.
It’s exciting to think about some of the possibilities of creating your own expeditions. I’ve summarised my top three for you.
- Your own VR field trips
The first and probably most obvious possibility that springs to mind is the ability to create your own VR field trips. It’s not always feasible to take the whole school on a field trip and so having the opportunity to capture the best moments in VR is a great way of bringing the outside world into the school.
From a teacher’s point of view, another aspect that excites me is the ability to share your travels with your students. One of the best parts about being a teacher is the amazing holidays you’re entitled to and the opportunity this creates for you to travel and see the world. I’m not advising you to share your Ibiza clubbing holiday but if you get the chance to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World or a volcano for example, how amazing would it be to share this with your pupils!
- Presentations for the future
In 10 years time, PowerPoint presentations might become a thing of the past. VR is a great way of providing perspective to your audience and it could really help to bring your subject matter to life. Very soon, we might see students presenting their assignments or projects using VR. Not only does this develop digital skills but it gives students the opportunity to bring a subject to life!
Imagine for example, setting students a project on local history. Rather than students presenting this through pictures on a PowerPoint presentation, students can give you a virtual tour of the places of significance they’ve visited. This allows students to go into more detail and it gives the audience a first hand experience of being there.
- Collaborate and learn from other schools
Another opportunity is the option to share and collaborate with schools from all over the world. Creating your own expeditions and sharing these with other international schools will help students to understand and show an appreciation for cultural diversity. The British Council already encourages schools to partner with an international school through its programs and VR might help to create another dimension to this collaboration. For example, you could film a typical lesson in 360° view to show how learning takes place at your school.
I’m really excited about the possibilities that creating your own expeditions brings and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds over the next few years.
If you have any questions regarding virtual reality in schools or you are interested in finding out what options are out there, please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please visit our website at www.primevr.co.uk.