Field Studies Council

Workshop on Google Expeditions at the Geographical Association Conference

Photo: Smartphone-driven Virtual Reality-based Google Expeditions App workshop

Photo: Smartphone-driven Virtual Reality-based Google Expeditions App workshop

Workshop title: Investigating the role of virtual reality in geography via Google Expeditions at the Geographical Association's 2017 Annual Conference on Friday, 21 April at 9 am. 

Workshop organisers: Dr Steve Tilling, Dr Ana-Despina Tudor, Ms Becky Kitchen and Professor Shailey Minocha

About Google ExpeditionsGoogle Expeditions is a Virtual Reality mobile Application (app) which consists of field trips of places that students experience on a smartphone through a Virtual Reality (VR) viewer called Google cardboard.  The Google Expeditions app (available for Android and iOS platforms) has more than 500 expeditions. An expedition comprises of 360-degree photospheres of a location (e.g. Rio de Janeiro). Google Expeditions enable visualisation of locations which may not be feasible or easy to visit in real life (e.g. Galapagos islands or the Tolbachik volcano). Further, Google Expeditions have simulations to envision concepts and systems such as the human heart, the respiratory system, or the process of pollination.

Details of the workshop: Participants will have the opportunity of a hands-on session with Google Expeditions and will be invited to discuss/evaluate the outcomes of a Google-funded project that has investigated the role of virtual reality in geography and science school education.

Our research objectives for geography education in schools have been:

  • —Whether and how smartphone-based Virtual Reality with 360 photospheres like Google Expeditions (GEs) can be integrated in the Geography curriculum - e.g. teaching geographical concepts and phenomena
  • —How smartphone-driven Virtual Reality like in GEs can support geographical enquiry?
  • —How smartphone-driven Virtual Reality like in GEs can complement physical field trips?

In the workshop, we will specifically focus on the role of Virtual Reality in geographical enquiry - both in the context of classroom practice and for physical field trips.

Google expeditions and fieldwork: friends or foes?

The Association for Science Education (ASE) Annual Conference

Workshop on Saturday 7th January 2017

The Research Project:

Google Expeditions (https://www.google.co.uk/edu/expeditions/) is a Virtual Reality (VR) approach being promoted by Google in schools globally. Google Expeditions are guided tours (field trips) of places that students experience on a smartphone through a virtual reality viewer called Google cardboard.

The Open University (OU), UK are conducting a school-based research project (funded by Google and the OU; July 2016 - June 2017) on the potential use of VR via Google Expeditions in secondary school science and geography.

The project (http://www.shaileyminocha.info/google-expeditions/) is being co-led by Field Studies Council, and UK's Association for Science Education and Geographical Association are the two partnering organisations.

About the Workshop:

This workshop will provide an opportunity to try out Google Expeditions and to explore how they could be used to support teaching and learning, including fieldwork.

Are Google Expeditions a threat to traditional field trips or could they become a complementary tool for strengthening the quality of outdoor learning, for example by providing an immersive technology which adds context and substance to pre-field preparation, in-field activities and post-field revision and reflection?

Presenters:

Ana-Despina Tudor and Shailey Minocha (The Open University, UK)

Steve Tilling (Field Studies Council)

Marianne Cutler (ASE) and Richard Needham (ASE and Vicia Learning Solutions Ltd.)

Workshop location at the ASE Conference: 

Henley Business School, 101, University of Reading, UK

Related posts:

Google Expeditions and Lesson Plans

Picture courtesy: Dr. Ana-Despina Tudor

Picture courtesy: Dr. Ana-Despina Tudor

Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions are virtual field trips in the form of 360 photospheres that can be viewed through virtual reality headsets called Google Cardboard that are driven via the Google Expeditions App on the smartphones.

There are over 300 Google Expeditions listed in this spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/1GxJ9xf

Some of these expeditions have lessons plans in TES: https://www.tes.com/resources/search/?q=%23Googleexpeditions

About the project

In the Google- and UK's Open University-funded project, we are investigating the role of Google Expeditions in Geography and Science learning and teaching in schools. Details of our project are available in this blog post

UK's Open University (Shailey Minocha and Ana-Despina Tudor) is working with Google and leading UK education organisations including the Field Studies Council (Steve Tilling and David Morgan), Geographical Association (Rebecca Kitchen and Alan Kinder) and The Association for Science Education (Marianne Cutler and Richard Needham). 

Project webpage

The project webpage on this site is here.

Virtual reality boosts students’ results

Use of Google Cardboard to experience Google Expeditions (photo courtesy: Dr Ana-Despina Tudor)

Use of Google Cardboard to experience Google Expeditions (photo courtesy: Dr Ana-Despina Tudor)

"Virtual and augmented reality can enable teaching and training in situations which would otherwise be too hazardous, costly or even impossible in the real world." Edwin Smith, in Raconteur Report on Virtual and Augmented Reality, http://rcnt.eu/9ci

Our project on Google Expeditions is mentioned in this article "Virtual reality boosts students’ results" has featured in the report – Virtual and Augmented Reality (the report is available for downloading from the article's web-page, on the left hand side).

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Our research project’s objective is examine the role of Virtual Reality (VR) in science and geography in schools. 

On this Google Expeditions project, UK's Open University (Shailey Minocha and Ana-Despina Tudor) is working with Google and leading UK education organisations including the Field Studies Council (Steve Tilling and David Morgan), Geographical Association (Rebecca Kitchen and Alan Kinder) and The Association for Science Education (Marianne Cutler and Richard Needham). The project is funded by Google and The Open University, UK.

NEWS ITEM RELATED TO THE PROJECT

A recent news item on our project is available at Open University's website at this link.