As virtual reality becomes more and more popular, companies are looking at new ways to integrate it into people’s everyday lives. Google, for instance, is keen to ensure that children grow up enjoying the benefits of VR, so the search giant has committed to bringing the technology to one million UK schoolchildren. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in his first visit to Britain since becoming chief, confirmed that the company will offer VR training and resources via its Expeditions programme, allowing teachers to take their students on virtual field trips from the comfort of the classroom.
“Virtual reality can spark students’ imagination and help them learn about topics like how blood flows through the human body or the impact climate change is having on the Great Barrier Reef, in an engaging and immersive way,” Pichai said. “We’ve already received feedback from thousands of teachers in the UK and they believe that Expeditions can improve literacy and writing skills, and help create excitement to complement traditional teaching methods.”
Google’s no stranger to learning experiences for kids. Its Project Blok’s toys help children learn how to code and this past summer, the company put on a number of Summer Squad coding sessions for kids between 8-13. That’s not forgetting its YouTube Kids app, science camps in the US and the 15,000 Raspberry Pis it gave to UK schools back in 2013.
Google Expeditions are open and free to any UK school. To champion the virtual reality app, the Google Expeditions team will visit Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle and Inverness in the next couple of months, providing headsets to children who may otherwise have never had the opportunity to enjoy it.