Sunday, April 17, 2022

Expeditions Pro - Guide Students on Virtual Reality Tours

Last year many of us were disappointed when Google announced the closure of their Expeditions program. Shortly after that announcement a new company popped-up to offer an alternative to Google Expeditions. That alternative is called Expeditions Pro. It launched in beta last June and is now available for anyone to install on iOS and Android devices. 

Expeditions Pro has many of the same features that teachers liked about Google Expeditions. Not the least of those is the ability to guide your students on virtual reality tours. As long as you and your students are on the same Wi-Fi network, you can lead them through a tour. When you're leading a tour your students will see arrows on the screens of the their device to point them to what they should be looking at. Additionally, when you pause a tour your students' screens are blurred out until you resume the tour. 

To lead students on guided VR tours in Expeditions Pro, you have to download the tours to your phone or tablet. Your students don't need to download the tours in order to follow along with you. Expeditions Pro offers a growing gallery of virtual reality tours. It is also possible to create and use your own VR tours in Expeditions Pro. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Expeditions on an Android phone and on an iPad. In the video I also show you the teacher and student perspectives of guiding and following virtual reality tours in Expeditions Pro. 

How to Record a Google Earth Tour in Your Web Browser

The online version of Google Earth has improved a lot since it was first launched back in 2017. Unfortunately, it still doesn't have a built-in recording tool like the one found in the desktop version of Google Earth. The solution to that problem is to create a project in the web version of Google Earth and then use a screencasting tool like Screencastify to record while you navigate to each placemarker in your Google Earth project. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to record a Google Earth tour in your web browser by using Screencastify. 



Applications for Education
At the end of my Around the World With Google Earth activity I ask students to record a short tour of all of the places that they add to their Google Earth projects. The directions that I provide in the video above show students exactly how to do that.