Cow Meeting: Google Expedition gives students a new alternative to traveling

The+%27I+Am+Cardboard%27+lens+allows+wearers+to+be+transported+to+a+new+location+%28Courtesy+of+D.Martin%29.

The ‘I Am Cardboard’ lens allows wearers to be transported to a new location (Courtesy of D.Martin).

Devin Martin

An ‘I Am Cardboard’ lens attracts most of the eyes in the room, during the Dec. 3 Committee of the Whole meeting. But for what purpose? The ‘I am Cardboard’ lens transfers the wearer to any location that the wearer may so desire.

Those locations can be the White House, the Roman Colosseum, or even the Empire State Building.  Hence, the board sees why this new tool of technology can come in handy to many students.

This tool is called Google Expedition and will allow many students to travel on virtual field trips. This gives students the opportunity to travel to many places that they might not physically be able to go to.

The company that made this possible and gave Huntley this opportunity was Google. Many members from Google traveled to Leggee Elementary School to try out their Google Expedition by giving the ‘I Am Cardboard’ lens to many students in various classes. The result? Students were walking on the moon and journeying into the White House.

The 'I Am Cardboard' lens allows wearers to be transported to a new location (Courtesy of D.Martin).
The ‘I Am Cardboard’ lens allows wearers to be transported to a new location (Courtesy of D.Martin).

The students at Leggee were very eager to keep on using this technology. However, Google is not yet ready to sell Google Expedition. But, when it is on sale, it will benefit the district in aiding teachers adding details to their lessons and to also direct their students in the correct way.

Director of Information Technology, Chris Budzynski, is also very content with where Google Expedition can direct many students in the future.

“You do not just see an image, it is the content behind it,” said Budzynski. “I wouldn’t have to be an expert on the White House because as a teacher I have on my tablet a script that can tell me what is in the room. I don’t have to be an expert on whatever the expedition is because Google is working with other partners to develop that content from those who are the experts.

It is also beneficial to the teachers knowing that Google Expedition is not that hard to set up for the students. All the students have to do, is have a phone and download the Streetview application. Then, the students just click on the magnifying glass in the application, type where they want to go, click a blue path, slip the phone in the ‘I am Cardboard’ lens, and ‘wear’ the lens just like binoculars to be transported into a different location.

District 158 Board of Education President, Donald Drzal, is also very excited about what Google Expedition brings to the district.

“You see these two dimensional images that we are accustomed to and things are becoming more and more dynamic [through Google Expedition],” said Drzal.

So whether the board chooses to purchase Google Expedition or not, students have benefited from this experience. It is also very likely that the board will purchase Google Expedition because when students are eager to learn, students do their best.

“I’m excited when [Google Expedition] is available to us in large scales,” said Budzynski.