Special thanks to Allison Mollica and BPS EdTech Team member Rachel Small for the following post about a recent event at Memorial Elementary School. Memorial hosted Google Expeditions and provided a great experience for students and staff.
Google has developed an economical way for schools to virtually visit attractions all throughout the world. Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program created over a hundred curriculum based 3D virtual field trips for teachers to guide students through various destinations using Google Cardboard and an inexpensive device.
It was a wild day of @GoogleForEdu’s #GoogleExpeditions at Memorial Elementary School in Burlington, MA. Last week, Burlington Public Schools students from grades 2-8 worked with various Expeditions ranging from Biomes, Historic Philadelphia, Famous US Landmarks, Canada, Desert Habitats, Landforms, Taj Mahal, and Coral Reef…
Using Google’s Expeditions technology (and his schema), Sean Musselman (BPS Science Specialist) directed students to various areas of the Staten Island Transfer Station in New York, New York while sharing information and essential questions given to him via the Expeditions app. Many heartfelt “oohs” and “ahhhs” came from students and teachers. Sean led third and fifth grade students on a tour of the recycling process starting with throwing trash away, working its way through the recycling plant, and then getting loaded for delivery to production facilities. As Sean talked about aseptic (e.g. milk, orange juice) materials and how they go through the recycling plant, students focused directly on a 3D image of the actual plant. Sean and the students discussed how bales are transported to the paper mill to be turned into paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, etc.
Virtual Reality Panorama Titles
1 – Staten Island Transfer Station
2 – Rail Yard
3 – Sims Municipal Recycling Center
4 – Bale Storage Building
5 – Lower East Side Ecology Center
6 – Gowanus EWaste Warehouse
Ali, a fifth grader, recalled, “It was really cool we could explore and discover different places in one room. I felt as if I were there!”
Tyler C. said, “I like going places virtually because we can go almost anywhere to learn without leaving the comfort of our own school or risk getting hurt at the sites.”
Rozzi exclaimed, “I love Google Expeditions. It really helps us learn about places we may not ever be able to actually go.”
Our Expeditions Timeline
Hope & Dream
- Over winter vacation, Rachel Small (Memorial’s Teacher Librarian) indicated Memorial’s interest for Google’s Expeditions here
- Expeditions asked Rachel to submit a schedule proposal that met all requirements as well as a contract signed by Deb Dressler (Memorial’s Principal)
- Deb Dressler, Paula Weldon (Technology Integrator), and Rachel created a schedule proposal
- Expeditions requires 18-20 sessions throughout the day. Memorial Elementary School could only come up with 16 sessions because grades 2, 3, 4, & 5 have four classes each. (Expeditions is only for children ages 7 and up.) We invited a couple of Marshall Simonds Middle School classes to come experience a few Expeditions.
- Katie Bercury (BPS Social Studies Coach) and Sean Musselman (BPS science specialist) documented all applicable expeditions that fit BPS social studies and science curriculum by grade level
- Teachers selected the Expeditions they wanted their students to experience
- Expeditions accepted our schedule proposal and sent confirmation
Google’s Expeditions Day
- Alex, an awesome Google’s Expeditions associate, brought everything we needed that included Google Cardboard and phones for 60 students and two tablets to run the phones. Once a tablet is set to a destination, the phones travel accordingly.
- Alex taught participating educators about the app in a quick 15 minute training session at the beginning of the day
- Two concurrent 30 minute Expedition sessions ran throughout the day. (There was a required hour lunch break in the middle of the sessions in order to charge the phones!)
- Allison Mollica, as well as many members of the BPS EdTech Team, came to observe and help.
- Students reflected upon their experience using this Google Slides Template that can be found in Slides if you are a Google Apps for Education School.
More information about the Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program can be found here.
Allison Mollica is a Google Certified: Educator, Innovator, Administrator, & Education Trainer as well as a Secondary Virtual Instructor of Computers and Web Design and an educational technology leader, facilitator & enthusiast! Allison has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has a Master’s in Technology in Education and Advanced Certificate in Online Instruction through Lesley University, Boston, MA. @AMollica can be found on Twitter.
Rachel Small is the Teacher Librarian at Memorial Elementary School in Burlington, Massachusetts. She has been a fifth grade teacher, curriculum coordinator/ literacy coach, and middle school English instructor. Rachel is also a presenter, education/ technology/ social media consultant, and a Google for Education Certified Trainer. She is extremely passionate about helping teachers blend the best practices of literacy with connected learning while trusting the process. @RachelVSmall can be found on Twitter.