Pupils travel the world with Google
Forest School pupils got to visit famous landmarks around the world all from the comfort of the classroom.
More than 500 pupils and 25 teachers from the Senior and Preparatory Schools got to experience standing at the top of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, landing on the moon and climbing down the Grand Canyon, all thanks to Google’s Expedition Pioneer Programme which made a day-visit to the School on Thursday 22 September.
Google Expeditions is a new product from the company, which allows teachers to take their classes on virtual trips, immersing pupils in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life, helping pupils have a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.
During the day, Senior pupils got to visit Rio, walk with the first-ever astronauts on the moon and stand at the top of Dubai’s tallest building, while Prep School pupils got to swim with sharks and stand over the Grand Canyon.
Speaking about the visit, biology teacher Ms Lyn Baber said: “The idea behind the initiative was to see how we might incorporate the virtual reality technology into teaching and learning, and to find out if pupils would be engaged in novel lessons.
“Google supplied us with thirty sets of their cardboard VR goggles and smartphones, and showed teachers how to use an online app with information about the places seen through the viewers. The overwhelming response from both pupils and staff was that they would want to use VR in lessons.”
Meanwhile Forest pupil Anya, Year 7 said: “The camera glasses let you feel and know how it is to be underwater. I had a very exciting time playing with these glasses and I hope I can experience this lesson again,” while Sophia, Year 8 added: “I really enjoyed today’s lesson. The main thing I really liked was that when you were looking into the glasses you felt like you were actually in the place sir set us to be in.”
Ms Baber added: “We are organising for pupils to make their own sets of goggles, and will be assessing some of the thousands of apps freely available online. We are also looking into having interested pupils make their own VR films for use with their goggles.”