Google Launches Virtual Field Trip ProgramAssociation of Educators
December 4, 2013 — 1,037 views
Google, the multinational corporation, famous for its search engine and several other features, has announced plans to launch a virtual field trip program. The program is targeted at high school teachers and students. Google wants to ensure that their technology provides benefits to everyone and education is one of the most important applications of technology.
To this end, Google has teamed up with Coursera and edX, two well-known providers of online distance learning programs. Google hopes that by combining their strengths, they can provide a great teaching and learning experience to students and teachers alike.
Virtual Field Trips
Google’s Virtual Field Trip program enables students to participate in knowledge tours and field trips without actually moving away from their classrooms. The students can use the tablets and computers provided by Google to engage in the field trip program.
Field trips have always been an important part of education and they involve students taking trips to actual locations so that they can observe and learn by doing rather than by just memorizing. Such trips make the education process more interactive and more accessible to students from modest backgrounds.
The use of technology has already made many things more accessible to the general population than before. The same could be true of education which is in dire need of change for the 21st century.
The technology provided by Google will integrate with Google services like YouTube, Google+ and Hangouts. The integration will make the experience very convenient and exciting for the students as well as the teachers.
Google is already in the process of developing cutting virtual reality technology. This includes the famous Google Glass project which is going to be released to the public soon. Many more projects are also about to follow.
So far, the move by Google has been received well by teachers and educators. They have sincerely appreciated the efforts made by Google to put education and field trips within the reach of ordinary students. The students are also very pleased with the opportunity and want to make full use of it. Many students never get this kind of a priceless opportunity in their lifetime.
Currently the project is in pilot phase and will soon be extended to other schools. This has largely happened because of the great reviews that it has received. At this rate, nearly all schools will have access to Google’s Virtual Field Trip program in about a year’s time.