Google first introduced the Expeditions Pioneer Program in September last year, to encourage teachers to teach students with the help of Cardboard VR. Now, the search giant has opened up the Expeditions app to all, in order to make more people aware about the initiative, and take advantage of it. It has even announced new tools like Quizzes and Cast for Education aimed to elevate the teaching experience.
The Expeditions app consists of many VR trips to exotic locations like the Great Barrier Reef and Machu Picchu. Google claims that the app consists of more than 200 virtual trips to many places around the world. With this move, teachers will not have to go through the lengthy sign-up process for the Expeditions Pioneer Program in order to get access to the app. Now, the Expeditions app can just be downloaded onto multiple devices, and then the teacher can choose which location he/she wants to take their class. The app is available for Android via Google Play, however Google claims that it will arrive on iOS soon.
The teacher can serve as a tour guide, while students follow through VR, learning about historical places and events in the process. For those classrooms that do not have the technology to do these VR trips, Google had even introduced Expeditions kits. The company claims that more than a million students from 11 countries have taken virtual reality trips so far.
The search giant is now making these kits available on Best Buy for $9,999, so that anyone can purchase without going through the lengthy sign-up process. These kits contains 30 smartphones, 3 chargers, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, and 30 Google Cardboard viewers that turn phones into virtual reality headsets.
Furthermore, Google even announced a new Google Cast for Education Chrome app that lets students and teachers share their screens wirelessly. The search giant has also launched Quizzes in Google Forms, to ease the work of the teacher. Quizzes will enable grading for multiple choice and checkbox questions automatically. Teachers will now be able to pre-select answers in quizzes, so that the students get results immediately, while also reducing the grading work for teachers.
Lastly, Google also introduced three creative apps – Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo – for Chromebooks. The apps let students create animation, music, and videos, and can be purchased from the Play Store.