On Tuesday, October 30, third graders from Four Mile Elementary blasted off into space using Google Expeditions. Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that allows teachers to lead students through immersive virtual trips all over the world. Participants are able to get up close to historical landmarks, explore the human body, dive underwater to see coral reefs and visit outer space.
Jamie Gilchrist, Southeast Polk Technology Integration Coordinator, shared, “Google Expeditions not only allows students to see a new place but enhances learning about new cultures and ideas. It helps facilitate conversations about areas of the world that are much different than where we live.”
Students in Mrs. Filloon’s third grade class at Four Mile Elementary took a virtual expedition into the solar system and learned about the planets that make up our own neighborhood in space. Students were able to see the different sizes and shapes of the solar system, as well as seeing the Milky Way. They also took a tour of the US Space Station.
Third-grade student Connor Hagan said, “I almost fell out of my chair because of how closeup and cool everything looked!”
Using a tablet to lead students, teachers can explore more than 700 different expeditions with their students. Students are immersed in these environments by a combination of a tablet and a virtual reality headset.
“At Southeast Polk, we believe that virtual reality will begin to take off in education in the near future and exploring it now with our students will allow us to have a jump on this technology trend,” said Gilchrist.