Stuart is a qualified teacher and spent 6 months travelling the UK as a Google Expeditions associate. He now runs a company called PrimeVR, that aims to make Virtual Reality equipment accessible for schools.
My Top 5 Google Expeditions
I’ve spent 6 months travelling across the country as a Google Expeditions associate for the UK Pioneer Programme. During this time, I’ve been on my fair share of expeditions (from the Great Wall of China to the Solar System). There is now over 500 expeditions to choose from in the Expeditions app, so where do you start? I thought I would save you some time and point out my top five expeditions for creating that ‘awe and wonder moment’.
1) 7 New Wonders of the World
This has to be my favourite and is always my ‘go to’ expedition for staff training in the morning. That moment you are hovering over the Colosseum usually incites two reactions from teachers; either “wow, that is incredible” or “it makes me feel a little bit sick”. Either way, I’m a big fan. Specifically, my two favourite images to show during this expedition are the Colosseum in Rome and Petra in Jordan.
Always a good expedition for encouraging creative writing. Students become immersed in the coldest continent on earth, where temperatures can reach -70 degrees celsius and where 90% of all the ice on the planet resides. The Antarctica expedition also has some amazing up-close images of penguins, and who doesn’t love penguins?
This is always a crowd pleaser and in my opinion gives students the biggest surprise. Turning around to be confronted by an enormous 160kg silverback gorilla can make anyone jump, not just primary school pupils. With this expedition, the main image to look out for is the one titled ‘female and her baby’. I always recommended using this image as the final ‘wow’ factor at the end of the session.
Another guaranteed crowd pleaser and is my personal recommendation for any teacher wanting to take their students on an underwater experience. The first image of bull sharks always gets students thinking and questioning; “why is there a wheelie bin?” and “are those scuba divers safe?”. It’s also always interesting to see students change their impression of sharks from ferocious killers to misunderstood, endangered species.
5) Solar system
This expedition is out of this world, literally. The first image is a real eye-opener for students and really puts the size of the sun into perspective. It’s a good opportunity to test your students’ knowledge of the planets and also funny to see your class turn their heads in unison as they follow your direction to the next planet.
So there we have it, my top five expeditions. It was extremely difficult to narrow down 500 to 5 and there are plenty of expeditions that nearly made the cut. To name a few more: WW1, Grand Canyon and Rio should also not be missed.
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.