Getting Started with Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions allows teachers to use Virtual Reality in the classroom to take students to locations around the world (and in some cases out of this world). Essentially the teacher selects the location and controls the view, but the students are free to explore it, moving their head around, up and down to see different aspects of the location. See this post about the equipment needed for Google Expeditions (essentially a phone and a cardboard viewer).

Step 1 – Download the App

Google Expeditions is now available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. It is the same app for the teacher and the students, with the ability to change between the two in the app (see below), so you need to download and install this on all the devices you want to use.

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Step 2 – Selecting Guide (Teacher) or Explorer (Student) Mode

The teacher needs the app in Guide mode and the students need it in Explorer Mode – the modes can be changed by clicking on Guide (or Explorer) at the top of the screen.

guide

Step 3 – Connect some Student (Explorer) devices

Once you have an device running in Guide Mode you can then connect some student devices, these need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the teacher device. The number of connected devices will be displayed at the top of the teacher device.

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TIP – I find it easier if Expeditions runs on its own little Wi-Fi network. As long as the guide device has downloaded the expeditions they are going to use then there is no need to be connected to the internet. If you have an old router lying around, use that and rename it Expeditions Wifi. 

Step 4 – Select an Expedition to View

On the teacher device you can select from a growing list of expeditions on a variety of topics (for a full list see this post). Click on the expedition you want to view – expeditions are downloaded the first time you click on them, and this is indicated by a tick. In the example below Underwater Caribbean has been downloaded but Underwater Excursion has not. I suggest downloading expeditions to the teacher device before the class arrive.
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Clicking on the expedition brings up the first image (each expedition is usually a set of images with notes).  At this point only you can see it (but you can scroll around each image). To show the image on the student devices press the start button (the big orange play button in the corner).

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Once your expedition is up and running you can access teacher notes by pulling up the notes at the bottom. These can also be used to highlight student to important parts of the image, by clicking on the cross-hair notes within the text.

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