Come 2017 students at Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School will be able to travel the world without ever setting foot outside the classroom. Google Expeditions provides students and teachers with a unique opportunity to virtually travel anywhere in the world.
The idea to integrate the virtual reality glasses into classrooms at District 123 came through a collaborative effort between teachers who made Google Expeditions a part of their Makerspace wish list. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Gasteyer, the wish was turned into reality.
“Imagine the excitement in students as they are standing on the steps of the Great Wall of China or immersing themselves in an underwater excursion. Google has done a phenomenal job in creating over 400 virtual tours and lessons for students to explore,” said Brain Jurinek, Instructional Coach at Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School.
Having the opportunity to “visit” these places through virtual reality offers opportunities for teachers in any class to engage their students in a topic in a different way. Google Expeditions will enrich lessons that have been historically taught and create opportunities to teach and explore new locations and subjects that we never thought were imaginable. The Expeditions that are available offer opportunities to explore everything from depths of the ocean to the top of Mt. Everest and everything in-between.
After recently getting to try the Expeditions out for themselves, teachers are ready to get them into the classroom.
“They are amazing! It feels like you are actually visiting the selected points of interest. We cannot wait for the students to try them in the new year, it will be so great seeing the looks on their faces and hearing the excitement in their voices,” said Rosalind Reyes, the STEM Curriculum Facilitator with District 123.
Google Expeditions innovative technology is the perfect platform to ensure District 123 students are future ready encouraging quality, 21st century instruction for every student.