Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Google Expeditions - Take me Home

Last year I had the honor to receive a grant from the Lawrence Township Education Foundation (LTEF) for a Google Expeditions Kit.  This generous grant has given my students the chance to explore places in the world they may never get the chance to visit.  Taking a tour of the GooglePlex with my tech club inspired them to set their goals high (they really want to go bowling there).  Showing my students the size of the Burj Kalifia changed their view on the size of buildings and what we as humans are capable of.  Having my students be able to SEE a model of human lungs gave them a better understanding of the pictures and vocabulary they have been learning about in Health.  But it was another teacher in my building who brought her ESL students home that showed me that these Virtual Reality Viewers are capable of so much more.

Ms. Acuna is our building ESL teacher and recently used our Google Expeditions Kit to have each of her students bring the others to their home town - wherever that might be. I asked Ms. Acuna to describe her activity - below is the description of the lesson she gave - love this!  Since Google Expeditions does not have a true "expedition" created of each students home town - we used the Google Street View App and the students were able to get pretty close to the locations they were looking for.  (Curious where Google Street View has been or is going next - Check it out here)

Hope that this makes you think of a different way to use this technology in your class.

"I like to begin each year with an "All about me" writing project with my students. Since my students come from all over the world, I have always liked for them to share pictures of their countries and where they grew up. When Jon-Erik introduced the google virtual reality googles, I knew that I would be able to tell my kids that we no longer had to rely on power points and instead, could take virtual field trips to these countries.  My students were so excited that we were able to visit their favorite vacation spots or even go back and see the church they grew up going to by using Google Street View. It literally felt like we actually there! Not only were we able to get to know each other but we got to see where we grew up and gained understanding of how much our lives changed by moving to America. "