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Reed Students 'Travel' With Google Expeditions



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Reed Intermediate School sixth grade teacher Michael Corvello showed a group of his students the top of the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, before he had them see inside a hotel during an interactive “virtual field trip” on Wednesday, October 14.

The day was the first of two days that the school had access to Google Expeditions and Pioneer Program kits. Expeditions offers a program and hardware designed by Google to share “virtual reality panoramas,” according to a teaching pamphlet’s description of the program. Expeditions, the pamphlet explains, offers guided tours of places “school buses can’t go.”

As he controlled the images from his Nexus tablet, Mr Corvello asked his students to keep in mind the topics they have studied in geography classes so far and asked them to remember certain parts for future lessons. According to Mr Corvello, the day’s experience was being worked into the sixth grade geography curriculum.

As the students used goggles to look around a scene from Washington, DC, Mr Corvello asked them to think about why he would show them that image after showing them images from Rome, Italy.

“The architecture,“ one student said.

Mr Corvello explained, while his students looked at images of London and the inside of some museums, he read about the Google Expeditions roughly a year ago, and signed up to take part in the program when it was available. Roughly one week before the program was brought to Reed, Mr Corvello said he received word and it was organized to have two days with the program, so that the entire school could experience it. For each class, Mr Corvello said teachers were working the Google Expeditions into different curriculum.

As students looked at the Great Wall of China, one student said, “I feel like I’m actually on it.”

According to the pamphlet, Expeditions allows “teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips. The product immerses students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life and gives them a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.”

For the student’s second day of using Expeditions, Mr Corvello told them to be ready to see images of Mars and other planets.

“You guys are living in an awesome time,” Mr Corvello told the students after assigning their homework for the night. “We definitely did not have this when I was in sixth grade.”

Reed sixth grader Chris Leone stared into his goggles, which were used to see images from Expeditions, a Pioneer Program by Google.
Reed Intermediate School sixth graders looked through sets of goggles on Wednesday, October 14, to view panoramas of different scenes from around the world.
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