Thursday, May 31, 2018

Technology Integration at CHMS

During faculty meetings, CHMS staff have been share technology integration ideas with each other. Recently, English teacher, Amy Henry and science teacher, Amy Jarvis presented how they used Chromebooks in their lessons.

Below is Amy Henry's presentation showing students using Kahoot! and rotating through stations. While Chromebooks are a part of the equation, they are not the sole focus of the block. The focus is learning! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Virtual Reality with Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions is a virtual-reality teaching tool. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, walk through a museum, and more without leaving the classroom. There are close to 500 expeditions available and more in development.

Virtual Field Trips

A virtual field trip is a guided exploration through the world wide web that organizes a collection of pre-screened, thematically based web pages into a structured online learning experience. 
Google Expeditions makes it possible for teachers to take their classes on virtual reality field trips to amazing places like the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu. Self-Guided Expeditions let anyone explore anywhere.

Be a Guide or Explorer

Take your class on a trip without boarding a bus. All you need is a Google Expeditions Kit. I borrowed a kit from Longwood University's Institute for Teaching Through Technology and Innovative Practices. The kit is available through a lending agreement for member school districts.  It includes a tablet for the teacher-leader, cell phones and twenty virtual reality viewers. The teacher chooses the expedition, focuses on scenes, and highlights points of interest. The students are the explorers who follow an expedition on a phone using Virtual Reality viewers. When going on a group expedition, only a Guide can lead an expedition. Explorers can't join a group expedition without a Guide. 

A fourth grader is using Google Expeditions to explore the underwater world. 

Underwater Exploration

I virtually took 175 fourth and fifth graders to the Galapagos Islands.  We entered the underwater world and saw images of seals playing in the water, tortoises, coral, sharks and beautiful tropical fish. Information is provided for each scene for the teacher-leader to share with the students.

Curriculum Alignment

It is easy to find a Google Expedition that can be used alongside existing curriculum. For history teachers, there are many lessons that enable students to see history through the eyes of those who lived before us, Pearl Harbour and Hawaii during World War II, Little Bighorn Battlefield, and The Great Depression are just a few. International Space Station, Circulatory System, Hydrogen Burning, and others allow students to discover science in an engaging way.

Teachers can take students on a tour of university campuses and help them discover different careers by taking them on Career Expeditions, examples are Airline Pilot, Wildlife Careers, Forest Ranger, and Radio Producer. 

 Arts and Culture, Science, Environment, History, Monuments, Museums, are categories of Expeditions that allow students to make discoveries, and see the world from a new perspective.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a technology that lets you figuratively step inside a computer-generated 3D world. You can explore places in an exciting and engaging way. The students were very excited to use VR and see the underwater world. Google Expeditions has a variety of VR experiences helping students to see and experience the world in new ways, visit college campuses, gain exposure to new career paths and role models. Discovery Education provides four ways to experience VR Explorations. Students can watch DE's explorations on a desktop, projected for whole class viewing, on mobile devices, or by pairing a smartphone with a VR viewing device. 

Performance Matters

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