Google Expeditions makes it possible for teachers to take their classrooms on virtual reality field trips to amazing places like the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu. Today, we’re starting to roll out a new solo mode of Expeditions for Android, so that anybody can explore more than 600 different tours on their own. Just download the Expeditions app (coming soon for iOS), drop your phone into Cardboard and get ready for an adventure.
For the past two years, Expeditions has been a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to see and experience the world in new ways, visit college campuses, gain exposure to new career paths and role models, and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe. During this time, we’ve heard from students, teachers, and even our friends, that they’d love to explore and learn from Expeditions outside the classroom .
Self-Guided Expeditions let anyone explore anywhere. Students can go on tours at home and share the experience with their family. Teachers can assign tours as homework to complement in-class work. What better way to round out textbook reading about the Founding Fathers than an Expedition about the Hamilton-Burr duel narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda? And of course, anybody who loves to learn and explore can experience all the tours for themselves.
It’s easy to use. All you need is your smartphone, Google Cardboard and the Expeditions app. If you have a Daydream-ready phone, it also works with Daydream View. Simply launch the app, pop your phone in your viewer and you’re ready to go. You can take tours as either an Explorer or a Guide. As an Explorer, you experience the tour on your own, and you’ll see points of interest highlighted with more information about the incredible sights you’re seeing. Guide mode is especially handy if you’re a teacher and you want to preview a tour before leading your students on it.
We’ve also heard from teachers that they want more tools to help explain and highlight things within Expeditions panoramas and environments. The new “Annotations” tool lets a Guide draw within a scene using their finger or a stylus. Each of the connected Explorers will instantly see that same annotation in the scene.
To get started with Self-Guided Expeditions, check out the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, or dive into the beautiful and fragile Great Barrier Reef. Or, if you love baseball, check out one of the game’s great cathedrals with a tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Wherever you choose to go, there’ll be something amazing to see.