Google Expeditions allows users to view the world as it advertises that it “brings your lessons to life.” From any mobile device, teachers and students can download the free app to explore virtually a variety of environments with guided prompts.
Take students to the Seven New Wonders of the World. Visit The Great Wall of China. Zoom in to see the smaller walls and watchtowers. Students explore by moving their devices up, down and left, right. The device follows that motion moving the image in the same pattern. The teacher is guided with additional information along with questions at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. As the teachers taps the screen to move to points of interest, student devices show an arrow guiding to the same location. Visit the other six wonders as well in this virtual field trip.
Students may also explore careers including a Human-Robot Interaction Design Researcher. Visiting Duke’s Robotics Centre, students explore the creation of several types of robots. The Telenursing Robot works with nurses to remotely help patients. The Wall-Climbing Robot was designed to climb walls. The app provides the teacher with additional information to communicate to students as if the class was taking the field trip in person.
Access the app on any mobile device. Headsets are available to purchase if you have Android or iTouch devices. The app works the same on an iPad or iPad Pro without a headset.
Click here to view my favorite headset to use with an iTouch.
Teacher devices will need to log into a Google account.
Student devices do not need to log in.
Locating an Expedition
Find an expedition by going to the following resources. You may also search for a specific expedition or browse the collection inside the app.
Spreadsheet of Expeditions: A Google Sheet of expeditions collected by educators. Provides an overview and any needed details. Searchable as well.
Google Database of Expeditions: View all the available expeditions in one place. Information provided by Google.
Ideas in Action
For elementary students studying habitats or continents, go on a tour of Antartica or Marine Life.
Before exploring, create a list of inferences with the class about what they think they will see based off their research. Create a checklist of those inferences for students to note during the expedition. You may also create a list of questions students might have about the topic.
While exploring, take moments to assess student thinking by asking the provided questions. Review the student-generated questions as well.
For secondary students, career or historical expeditions may be more relevant. These include expeditions like “A Day in the Life of a Surgeon” or “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Women’s Rights.”
Older students might study the topic ahead of time and then guide the rest of the class. Students could also create guiding questions and additional details to add to the expedition.
The number of expeditions and resources continues to grow. What other ways can you utilize Google Expeditions with your classes?
Author: Becca Munson
Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 23 years of experience in education. She is currently a school librarian at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. Becca continues to find ways to positively impact student learning with literacy initiatives, technology integration, and building rapport with students and staff. Follow her on Twitter to view the library in action @bvwlibrary and @beccamunson .