Bett 2016 ‘Expedition’: Jan16 Alex Warner

Leaving Reading College to head to the BETT 2016 (, little did I know the journey I was going to undertake on that day. What was planned as a visit to London ended up with a stop off at El Capitan, Yosemite, The Great Wall of China and Buckingham Palace!

I had my itinerary set for speakers I wanted to see that day and one of those was Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Product Management: Google for Education. A presentation entitled ‘David Attenborough’s VR Expedition of the Great Barrier Reef’ was always going to draw in the crowds and as an avid fan of Attenborough (and Google) it was a personal ‘must see’… It did not disappoint. All were ‘wowed’ by what we saw, Google Expeditions.Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 07.46.03

After Rochelle’s presentation there was a short period of time before a further speaker I wanted to see (RT Hon Nicky Morgan) so I went to the Google stand to get my personal slice of the action. This was the first I (and many others) had heard of ‘Expeditions’ so in order to share the opportunity we were allocated time slots for a demo.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 07.47.54Behind the closed doors of the Bett main event groups of 10 were taken off to go and experience an ‘Expedition’.

The principle was simple, an android device and a cardboard headset. The technology we were about to experience; however, was far from simple.Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 07.48.07

Google have been busy developing expeditions where you are taken on an immersive virtual reality tour of specific locations. The three I was lucky enough to visit, all ‘first times’ for me were; El Capitan, Yosemite, The Great Wall of China and Buckingham Palace.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 07.47.43Not only are you taken to the site but a Teacher (in this case a Google supremo) can then lead a group around giving valuable information and insights from the ‘Master Device’. For example, instruction can be given about; the rock formations of the El Capitan race, the number of towers/ turrets on The Great Wall of China and the number of light bulbs in Buckingham Palace J These are just a few of the many expeditions available (and only a brief insight into an Expedition) I would love to see (and experience) the full list.

Unfortunately for us in the UK, Expeditions is not currently in the next round of the Pioneer Program visits. Presently, the lucky few are; United States, Canada, Brazil and Sweden.

Do keep an eye out for this one though. I expect this one to be an education game-changer!

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 07.48.18


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