Uxbridge College students used innovative cardboard headsets and mobile phones to go off on virtual field trips thanks to the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program.

Expeditions is a new product which uses cardboard viewers and collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° photo spheres, 3D images and video, and ambient sounds — to create the experience of a field trip in the classroom.

Around 950 students took part from Engineering, Creative Studies, Sports, Travel & Tourism, Foundation Studies, and Business. Their trips included the Subaru factory, an ocean safari, and the human digestive system, chosen from the range of virtual trips which can be downloaded free online.

The workshops were presented with the help of Google Expeditions staff who brought headsets and mobile phones for use by each student and led the educational sessions.

Dr Nagham Saeed was among lecturers involved in the event with her engineering students, who toured the Subaru factory in 3D.

She said: “This was a really exciting and novel way to discover more about engineering from a completely different perspective. It is a very effective and interesting approach to learning - students could watch technicians work and see everything close-up from every angle and it was almost as good as actually being in the Subaru factory.”

Uxbridge College will be training all staff on Expeditions so that lecturers and students can create their own material to use in the classroom.

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