Imagine being able to take your students on a field trip to virtually anywhere.  Would you take them through the jungle to Machu Picchu, or up the treacherous slopes of Everest, or even across the stratosphere to the International Space Station or the Surface of Mars?  All of these and hundreds of other former impossibilities are now possible for every student in the Barrow County School System through Google Expeditions and our new Google Expeditions Classroom Kit.

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Newly-arrived, teacher-tested, and student-approved, our Google Expeditions Classroom Kit includes everything thing you need to send your students on Virtual Reality (VR) Expeditions all around the world.  Within the rugged Expedition case are secured thirty Viewmaster VR Headsets and ASUS Android Phones for the student Explorers,  one Insignia Android tablet for the teacher Guide, as well as all the charging equipment needed to keep the devices up and running throughout the many adventures to be had.

Far more than just a 3D picture, the Google Expeditions kit and app connects all the student explorers to the teacher guide in such a way that the instructional experience and conversation lives right on the edge between ultimate student-lesson engagement and outright uncontrolled excitement and amazement.  Using the Expeditions guide tablet, the teacher controls which expedition all the explorers will be experiencing together; begins, ends, or pauses each scene in the expedition, monitors where each explorer is in each scene, and highlights points of interest throughout the expedition.  The tablet also provides valuable information and insight to the guide within each scene of an expedition along with conversation starters and leveled questions.

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There are three ways to investigate the nearly 400 free expeditions available at this time.  There is a google spreadsheet available online, and a world map of expeditions within an online blog. You can also download and install the app onto your personal iOS or Android device to browse the current list of expeditions.

To see a model lesson of how to use Google Expeditions right here in Barrow, be sure to sign up for the STEAM Teacher Leader session by Laura Payne on December 2nd.

In the two short classroom videos below, two science classes from separate teams of 5th graders are paired together to leverage a single classroom kit with almost 60 students simultaneously.  Notice the balance of excitement and engagement maintained with some simple classroom management procedures.

I will be reaching out to all the schools in our system very soon to set up a schedule of when each school will have a opportunity to get acquainted with Expeditions Kit and incorporate it into their classrooms.  If you have a specific question about the kit or would like to make a special request for it, please contact me as soon possible.  I expect that demand for this equipment will be quite high.