Google Expeditions AR is here – a news of delight for AR aficionados.
Exactly one year ago, Google in its developers’ conference, IO 2017 had announced the launch of expeditions in Augmented Reality.
After 12 months of developments, testing, and improvements, Google has finally included the AR tech in its Google expeditions application. During this time, the developers at Google partnered with EdTech experts, teachers and students in different schools, taking their advice and feedback to perform the beta testing of this revolutionary technological advance.
The testing was carried under the AR pioneer program where over 1 million students participated enthusiastically.
So what if you are already using expeditions VR at your school?
Isn’t that enough immersion and/or insight?
Should you be excited?
Here’s a simple answer.
Decades ago, we used to have log tables to simplify and drastically speed up computation. Then came the calculators which simplified the process of understanding and reaching the results exponentially.
The technology behind a calculator and AR is poles apart.
However, they’re alike in a sense – they both make education easier.
So when a student embarks on a journey through Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, he dons a VR headset and looks around to feel the immersion.
It doesn’t matter whether he is a water enthusiast or not, he will be fascinated with the underwater journey along the largest living structure on the planet and one of the natural wonders of the world. Plunging into the awe-inspiring coral reef environment and meeting its fascinating marine creatures – and that too as a part of a classroom lesson – indeed ‘educating’.
Interestingly, through the window of AR, he can do more.
He can bring the corals to his classroom & pan at them closely.
Yes, Augmented Reality!
While Virtual Reality takes you anywhere, Augmented Reality brings you anything.
Imagine a family of corals gliding on your table?
Or maybe – some DNA strands scattered on the floor, where one can really get their comprehensive view. Even though the full-form is complicated, studying them won’t be.
Now that is wondrous.
So practically, now Google can take you to the world and also bring the world into the classroom. How cool is that!
The expeditions application which already has 6 million downloads and enlists 800+ VR expedition lessons, now has AR expeditions on the iOS and Android apps.
About 100+ available expeditions span from the topics of biology like RNA and DRA to significant concepts of physics like electromagnetism.
To experience the all round, panoramic view of AR, one needs ARCore or an ARKit-compatible phone.
Apps Events, Dubai on Friday (May 11) and Saturday (May 12) welcomed educators, leaders and IT, administrators, to engage in a thoughtful conversation on the latest developments and updates pertaining to education at Google Summit. The session held at the Kent College, Dubai saw keen attendees, given the past reputation of the Apps Event’s success. Deep diving dives into many of the Google tools have been a great USP of these events.
The session was graced by the leaders in the Google for Education community had a lot to look out for.
The conference, eagerly awaited by tech aficionados around the world, kicked off with an inspiring keynote on the Day 1 by Rania Hadi, the Head of Google Education MENA. She took the stage to showcase the latest developments in the pursuit of better education at Google. Her talk was briefly yet deeply centered around what goes at the heart of Google that makes it work.
What followed was a chain of talks, experience sharing, and practical insights from teachers, technology evangelists and also by the Director of AppsEvents, Dan Taylor. His talk was a guided lesson to how, by using ‘core suite’ and other ‘non-core’ Google Apps, a school could be transformed to a Google school, starting from the basics and taking the penetration to a higher level.
Talks were delivered highlighting the benefits of G Suite, Google Slides, Chromebooks and elucidating the other lesser-known benefits to both students and teachers.
A special coverage of Virtual Reality Google Expeditions was observed as the prominent regional AR VR researcher and trainer, Dr. Sana Farid enlightened the fellow attendees on the benefits of Google Expeditions. Dr. Sana envisions, strategizes and streamlines Ai/AR/VR based programs in education to improve the learning experience in students. Her regional experience and in-depth understanding of reality technology have led to her being noted in the list of Top 101 Women in #ARVR 2017, winning her global acclaim.
Through her talk, Dr. Sana explained the workability of VR expeditions and how they can be easily implemented in classrooms to cater to individual student needs. Accounts of how Google expeditions could exponentially boost retention and decrease distraction from learning was the tipping point of the talk.
Another high note of the event was seeing pupils from the Kent College Dubai creating their own Google Classroom in real time, as well as other software from G Suite for Education.
Google Summit, on the whole, laid a strong pavement for a beginner’s understanding of Google’s education tools as well as allowed crossover of important exchange of views of the preeminent leaders, regional and global.
The premier Google Summit partners of the event were Acer and Intel.
The notion of immersive experiences and barrier-free learning is formed of numerous building blocks. Important parts of this notion are EdTech and the technologies supporting it. When Virtual Reality expeditions were launched in theGoogle I/O 2015, people anxiously waited to try their hands on the much awaited VR experiences. Since then, more and more studies have established the power of immersion in VR.
What is the real value of VR for education? Well, the answer revolves around the benefits of this groundbreaking technology. When one dons a headset, all physical connections to the real world are suspended and a student is immersed in an engaging 3D scene.
Virtual Reality field trips have kicked off a big growth wave. Leading this drive of EdTech in Middle East is a Virtual Reality trainer and Women of Wearable’s President and Ambassador for the region,Dr. Sana Farid. A pioneer ARVR strategist in MENA, Dr. Sana is working to fulfill her long-term vision, i.e. to nurture an inclusive society with high education standards.
Under her leadership, Middle East region is witnessing the ‘Go-To School’ Program, a pioneer program reinforcing the idea of ‘one-on-one learning’. It is a tech awareness drive allowing the Middle East schools to experience demoVirtual Reality Expeditions with the Google-poweredVRXOne. The demo sessions will teleport the students to interactive field trips. The engaging experience of these trips permits the students to leave the classroom periphery and learn through the tours of landmarks. Dr. Sana and her team are toiling relentlessly so that maximum students can reap exponential benefits from the engaging virtual experiences of VR.
Through her ongoing research and experience in EdTech, Dr. Sana understands the influence of reality technologies on student learning and pedagogical practices. The Go-To School program by her which kicked off in the last quarter of 2017 in Dubai has been acknowledged by all the participating schools. Teachers have reported visible signs of development in students, major improvement areas being ‘knowledge retention’ and ‘student engagement’. This is feasible through 100% engagement and attention capture which is possible through the high immersion in Virtual Reality.
Elaborating about her belief in the technology Dr. Sana says,”The world of VR is entertaining. We get that validation every day from students we meet in different schools. The amusement and excitement they show towards field trips make us more optimistic about VR. It can transmute a simple classroom into a fun-filled & productive classroom where every student thrives. The program is receiving great response from kids, and their teachers who see a notable improvement in their students’ learning graph.”
The Go To School Program is pronounced to be one of the foremost large-scale programs in the region for EdTech. The program spreads a clear message that the implementation of Virtual Reality in classroom is now possible and very much realistic.
About a century and more ago, a young man named George invented a device that captured the world, quite literally, in its awe. Kodak introduced photography to ordinary people in 1988. At its pinnacle time, about 70 percent of the American film market was locked up for Kodak. In 2012, the company declared its bankruptcy. Despite its history of multiple innovations and a jaw-dropping advertising strategy with the acclaimed tagline, ‘You press the button – we do the rest’, the fate of Kodak reinstates faith in ‘Recurring Innovation’.
Innovation manifests human development.
Dr. Sana Farid, who is a Virtual Reality strategist and also Middle East Women of Wearables Ambassador and President emphasizes the role of innovation and the never-ending need to evolve. She says, “When government and citizens join hands, catching the bus to an innovation-led future is easy. We must acknowledge the changes occurring around us and adapt for a sustainable tomorrow. A successful transition with time will take us ahead and keep us going.” Dr. Sana, who is an EdTech influencer and a progressive figure in the region’s tech space shared her thoughts on the occasion of UAE Innovation Month.
The UAE Innovation Month is brimming with agility and kicked off on February 1. The Emirates can anticipate to have a time filled with developmental activities, networking and audience engagement initiatives that highlight UAE’s commitment to enhance innovation. Under the empowering slogan of “Innovation Starts with You”, the government promotes a culture of innovation, providing a platform for nationwide demonstration of skills.
On the special edition of UAE Innovation Month, Dr. Sana received an overwhelming feedback at the Google Innovation Hub located in the UAE University. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior, H.E. Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan graced the launch event of the Innovation Hub, powered by Google. He was escorted by other Government ministers and representatives of Google. Dr. Sana, who was demonstrating the many uses of Virtual Reality in Education, was paid a visit by the Minister of Interior H.E. Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan who seemed deeply immersed in exploring Virtual Reality. Throughout the event, His Excellency was seen fondly enjoying the developments showcased, especially enjoying the company of young kids present at the Innovation Hub. The forward-thinking leadership of the country instills confidence and integrity in aspiring innovators.
Google Innovation Hub is a dynamic step to achieve an agenda enhancing the importance of digital creativity. The fair and innovative program inspires the youth to transmute their tech obsessions into successful businesses. The first of its kind center in the Middle East, the Hub can host up to 120 students daily to impart skills in 3D printing, laser cutting, machine learning, app development, robotics, etc.
With programs like these, countries can aim to achieve their long-term vision by focussing on the skills of their citizens. Dr. Sana’s emphasis on propelling innovation is in sync with the Middle East Vision 2030. Presence of this hub in the region is a progressive sign and an indication that there’s no stopping to high-tech development in the Middle East.
A few years ago, a session of World Economic Forum commenced with a declaration. The declaration was a “New Era of ‘Talentism’, which stated that human imagination and innovation are the driving forces behind economies”.
Imagine this scenario.
Every school across the globe has an innovative education system whose reach is far beyond report cards. Students don’t have to acquire ‘job-ready’ skills after they pass out. The skills are inculcated subtly throughout their academic years. A holistic future school where talent is truly valued. Our future generation, our most precious resource, stays abreast of the changing time.
Yes, it’s possible and devoted nations like UAE are working on it.
In the ongoing month of February, the UAE government and Emirati citizens have come together to celebrate innovation. With a month full of activities, people are participating in competitions, exhibitions, and other activities. The innovation program is being observed across the seven emirates to cultivate innovation and ingenuity in the society. The countrywide celebration that kicked off in Abu Dhabi on the 1st of February will be reaching other emirates throughout the month.
The thoughtful slogan for the month is – “Innovation Starts with You.”
The theme of this innovation month is inspired by the vision of the Honorable late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. “The UAE Innovation Month will focus on four aspects inspired
from our founding father — the innovative leader, the creative thinker, the change maker and the inspirational thinker”, said Her Excellency Huda Al Hashimi.
Contributing to the success of UAE Innovation Month is a proud Bahraini EdTech influencer and entrepreneur, Dr. Sana Farid, who is a Virtual Reality strategist, Middle East Women of Wearables Ambassador and President, VRAR Association Co-Chapter President for Middle East, and has been ranked among top 101 women in ARVR globally, emphasizes the role of innovation and the never-ending need to evolve.
The EdTech trainer who had previously flagged off the ‘Go To School’ Program in UAE last October is currently helping the emiratis keep up the momentum of this Innovation Month.
Dr. Sana is demonstrating the many uses of Virtual Reality in Education at the UAE Innovation Hub Dubai. Google Innovation Hub is a revolutionary step to harness innovation in students and enhance their digital creativity. The fair and innovative program inspires youth to transmute their tech obsessions into successful businesses. The first of its kind center in the Middle East, the Hub can host up to 120 students daily to impart skills in 3D printing, laser cutting, machine learning, app development, robotics, etc.
Besides the overwhelming feedback from visitors and government delegates at the innovation hub, the Bahraini entrepreneur Dr. Sana had a proud moment of being visited by UAE’s Minister of Interior, H.E. Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan. His Excellency, who was there for the launch of Innovation hub, seemed to be deeply immersed in exploring Virtual Reality. Throughout the event, he was seen interacting with the participants, especially the younger members, which gave a major boost to their confidence. He was escorted by other Government ministers and representatives of Google.
When asked about her experience in Reality Technologies and the outcome of such events, Dr. Sana said, “When government and citizens join hands, catching the bus to an innovation-led future is easy. We must acknowledge the changes occurring around us and adapt for a sustainable tomorrow. A successful transition with time will take us ahead and keep us going.”
Dedicated investments in building a human empire have life-changing benefits. The Middle East countries are steadily proving this while wisely investing in their human resource.