Google's new program lets kids travel the world

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 18:37:32-05

“It’s really fun!” Second grade student at Erieview Elementary School Jeffery Toth expresses. He’s referring to being able to  travel the world all the while staying right in his classroom.

“A textbook can provide some information but there’s nothing like having a panoramic view of the world around you and things that we’re learning about,” said Renee Debtel, second grade teacher at Erieview Elementary School.

Her school, along with Eastview Elementary in Avon Lake, got the chance to be part of what only a few hundred schools around the globe were selected for- Google’s new expedition’s pilot program.

“For us as schools, a lot of times we are a couple years behind when everything else comes out,” said Michael Matthews, principal at Eastview Elementary School. He continued, “So it's super cool today to get a chance for these kids to experience something on like the forefront of technology.”

The Google cardboard specs give smartphone users a virtual reality experience like none other.

RELATED Grandma tries out virtual reality game given to her by grandkids | FUN VIDEO

Emily Loeffler, is a another second grade student at Erieview Elementary School and said her whole class has had so much fun learning with the techie eyewear.

She said, “When we started looking, everyone was like so happy about it.”

From underwater adventures to the Great Wall of China, students followed along a guided tour by their teacher, with an iPad in her hand and the 3-D video goggles in theirs.

Debtel said, “We’re still instructing, we’re just supplementing it with tools that Google provides us.”

“You feel like you’re actually in the water or going in the wildlife,” Toth explained.

Students in grades second through fourth participated and it’s something Principal Mathews said is a great way to connect with this generation of learners.

“It isn’t just about entertainment, it’s about engagement and meeting kids where they’re at today.”

Google rolled out the technology last year and their expedition teams have been visiting select schools around the world like New Zealand, Brazil and the United Kingdom to get feedback from teachers and students as to how well the program works.

There will be more than two million in circulation by the end of the year.