Recently we were lucky enough to participate in the Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme. What a wonderful experience this was!
We signed up to participate in the programme and were given a visit date for a Google representative to come and teach staff and students how to use Google Expeditions.
Before the visit, we were asked to select Expeditions to suit the learning needs of the different year groups. I must say that I was quite impressed as there were over 400 different Expeditions to choose from (I’m sure this number has increased since then). We had Year 6 students experiences what life was like in WW2 trenches and Year 2 students exploring the functionality of a Recycling Depot.
On the day, the Google Rep arrived with all the equipment needed to run the Expeditions; they even brought their own router so they didn’t need to rely on school wifi. At the beginning of the day, teachers were given a training on how to use the App and equipment. They had the opportunity to play with the equipment before introducing it to the students. The focus of the day was not for the Google Rep to show the students how to use Expeditions but for the teachers to lead the way.
When it came time for classes to experience Google Expeditions, there was lots of awe and excitement. It was wonderful to hear each class aww in amazement as they begin their Expedition. Many excited discussions were had.
Teachers also showed excitement as they lead the Expedition and realised it was not as scary as it looked. With increasing confidence they directed their students around the virtual environment and navigated the technology with ease.
Overall Google Expeditions is a wonderful tool that has the power to inspire and engage learners. With a wide range of Expedition topics available, there is bound to be something to suit your students’ learning needs.