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.