Over the last three years, Google Expeditions has helped students go on virtual field trips to far-off places like Machu Picchu, the International Space Station and the Galapagos Islands. The more you look around those places in virtual reality (VR), the more you notice all the amazing things that are there. And while we’ve seen first hand how powerful a tool VR is for going places, we think augmented reality (AR) is the best way to learn more about the things you find there. Imagine walking around a life-sized African elephant in your classroom or putting a museum's worth of ancient Greek statues on your table.
Last year at Google I/O we announced the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program, and over the last school year, one million students have used AR in their classrooms. With AR expeditions, teachers can bring digital 3D objects into their classrooms to help their students learn about everything from biology to Impressionist art.
Starting today, Expeditions AR tours are available to anyone via the Google Expeditions app on both Android and iOS. We’ve also updated the Expeditions app to help you discover new tours, find your saved tours, and more easily start a solo adventure. It’s never been easier to start a tour on your own, at home with your family or in the classroom.
AR takes the abstract and makes it concrete to the students. We wouldn’t be able to see a heart right on the desk, what it looks like when beating, and the blood circulating.
Google Expeditions makes it easy to guide yourself or an entire classroom through more than 100 AR and 800 VR tours created by Google Arts & Culture partners like the Smithsonian Freer|Sackler, Museo Dolores Olmedo, and Smarthistory, as well as pedagogical partners like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hodder Education a division of Hachette, Oxford University Press and Aquila Education.
Upgrade the Google Expeditions app now to try out AR expeditions with a compatible Android (ARCore) or iOS (ARKit) device. And starting today, interested schools can also purchase the first Expeditions AR/VR kits from Best Buy Education. Like VR, we believe AR can enhance the way we understand the world around us—it’s show-and-tell for a new generation.