Google Virtual Reality Research Award

Our project 'Pedagogical and usability evaluations of Google Expeditions' has received the Google Virtual Research Award. This project will be led by Shailey in collaboration with Dr Steve Tilling of UK's Field Studies Council and in association with UK's Geographical Association (GA) (Alan Kinder , Chief Executive, GA) and The Association for Science Education (ASE) (Marianne Cutler , Director for Curriculum Innovation, ASE). 

Google Expeditions (GEs)  are guided tours (field trips) of places that students experience on a smartphone through a virtual reality viewer called Google cardboard. GEs are comprised of virtual reality panoramas and are led by a guide or teacher. Using a Tablet, teachers can guide up to 50 students wearing the virtual reality (VR) viewers and point out highlights while referring to editable notes.

Google is teaming up with hundreds of schools to teleport students to far-flung places often seen in their textbooks. The program called Expeditions uses virtual reality. This is part of a widening initiative not just in the U.S., but also in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and the U.K.

The focus of our project is to investigate the pedagogical effectiveness of GEs, in biology and geography fieldwork – subjects that have a long tradition of physical fieldwork.