Google Expeditions Bring Augmented Reality to Schools

Can Google's AR tech revolutionise education?

School can be boring, as we all know, but many children across the globe are sure to pay a bit more attention with some new technology in the classroom. Enter Google Expeditions, who are bringing augmented reality (AR) tech to classrooms to teach kids about the future of technology in a new way.

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Taking to schools in Galesburg, Illinois, Google introduced the kids to Google Expeditions AR, which allowed student to interact with 3D landscapes, such as tornadoes, world landmarks and more. Using smartphones the children were able to interact with and learn about the weather and world history in a new way.

Teacher Laure Weech was with her students during the demos, who is optimistic about the potential for teaching with the new technology; “It’s awesome, it’s fabulous. I think it will certainly enhance our curriculum.”

Google provided the smartphones for the students to use. Navigating the phone in 3D space, the children were able to closely look around and analyse the 3D models. The selection of weather effects included hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanoes, with student able to view every inch of the models in a realistic 3D space, something that simply can’t be done with textbooks.

Jacob Coon was one of the students who experienced the demo for himself, and shares the sentiments of his peers; “Say you’re looking at a notebook, it’s just flat,” Coon said. “With this, you can see everything and move into and around it.”

The school district is already interested in implementing the software into its classrooms, but before they can boldly go into a potential new future of education, Google needs to finish testing the software for a public release.

These trips to schools are a part of Google’s software test, and even when the software is fully tested and ready, it needs to be woven into the curriculum, and implemented into the classrooms, after certain assurances are made, such as strong WiFi signals throughout classrooms.

Technology is always revolutionising the ways we learn and communicate, so using AR in the classroom seems like a natural next step for education.

For the most advanced ways to learn and educate in AR, make sure to keep your eyes on VRFocus.

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