Into the Wild with Google Expeditions and Taronga Zoo

Ever wondered how to spot the difference between a black and white rhino? Or why platypuses use gravel instead of teeth? How about why koalas spend most of their day sleeping?

Kids across Australia will learn all this and more without leaving the classroom, with the latest Google Expedition, On Safari with Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo. This has all been made possible through a new collaboration with Taronga Conservation Society and the New South Wales Department of Education.

In the new tour, students from across the country and the world can be virtually transported to the Zoo where they can meet, interact and learn about the 700+ exotic and endangered species that call Taronga Zoo home. Think black rhinos, wombats, kangaroos and more!

Creating classrooms without boundaries

Expeditions was built to bring immersive experiences to as many schools as possible. Using collections of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content, teachers are no longer limited by the space of the classroom. AR brings abstract concepts to life, allowing teachers to guide students through collections of 360° scenes and 3D objects, pointing out interesting sites and artifacts along the way.

VR tours like the latest Expedition with Taronga Western Plains Zoo, lets students explore worlds virtually. Each tour is linked with supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculums further aiding the learning experiences. Laurens Derks, Learning Designer from the NSW Department of Education told us that Google Expeditions is already being incorporated into lessons plans and adopted throughout the Department of Education’s network which represents the second largest school district in the world. “Educators are embracing this new way of learning. By creating an authentic learning experience, the interaction with technology will hopefully inspire students to fulfil career aspirations that require STEM skills,” says Derks.

For teachers, Google Expeditions are helping create more innovative and interactive classes. Teachers are able to craft their own VR tours, making educators and their classrooms part of the technology experience. And for students they're able to immersive themselves in technology and explore worlds they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Join the herd

Over 10 million worldwide students have already experienced Google Expeditions’ immersive, virtual journeys. There are over 900 virtual reality tours and more than 100 augmented reality tours exploring history, the arts, science, and our natural world. Whether you’re roaming with hippos or examining Renaissance sculptures, there’s something amazing to explore for every subject.

It’s never been easier to take students on an adventure of a lifetime. So what are you waiting for!

On Safari with Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo expedition is on display at EduTECH (6 and 7 June) in Sydney and can be found on the Expeditions app for everyone to experience.