The latest ‘immersive learning’ technology from Google has taken year eight pupils from St Aldhelm’s Academy in Dorset on an expedition to Angel Falls and the busy streets of New Delhi, all from the classroom.
The Ambitions Academies Trust (AAT) school in Herbert Avenue, Poole, is among the first in the country to try out Google Expedition – a virtual reality learning aid which has already been piloted by schools in the United States.
Google Expedition uses simple cardboard ‘viewers’ which are fitted with magnifying lenses and mobile phones.
The class teacher then downloads the expedition app on to a tablet or computer and is able to send synchronised, three-dimensional 360° panoramas to each student’s viewer, pointing out areas of interest in real time and taking them on a journey of discovery.
St Aldhelm’s geography teacher, Frances Timms, said: “It really is amazing.
“We’ve also stood alongside dinosaurs and been up close to sharks in their natural environment.
“The students actually feel that they are experiencing these places and when that happens, it makes learning even more exciting.”
Student Ella Greene, said: “You feel like you are actually in the water, alongside the sharks.
“It’s so much better than just looking at pictures in books. You actually feel like you are there.”
The headsets are also being trialled by AAT’s King’s Park Academy in Bournemouth and could eventually be purchased and used by schools across the Trust.