Expeditions Everywhere

A little under a month ago we had the chance with the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program to visit a host of locations around the world with our students in an immersive, engaging and exciting new way – virtually. Our classes visited Greece and saw the Parthenon, dove underwater to see the impact acidification of the ocean has on coral reefs and aquatic life forms, scaled Mt. Everest and learned about the “Lung ta” flags, as well as experienced a base camp.

Recently, I applied for the Google Certified Innovator program. Becky Evans, Program Manager in Google for Education describes the program as:

Certified Innovators help their organizations, each other and Google push the boundaries of what’s possible in education. As ongoing participants in this community of educators, they transform the organizations they’re serving, advocate for change, and grow their own capacity as thought leaders. The new program focuses on helping Innovators launch a transformative project to help improve education in their schools, regions, or the world.

The transformative project that came to mind was finding a way to take the idea of Expeditions – visiting locations around the world – and making them easy to use, with guiding questions, additional resources and other tools to help with location-based lessons.

We have great tools like MyMaps allowing for the creation of custom maps. Google Cultural Institute  allows us to “Discover exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world.” We can use Street View to view images Google and others contribute to the map.

While all of this information is available and easy to find, curating and cataloging these resources is a bit of a challenge. There are thousands of custom-created MyMaps on Gettysburg. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could tie this into an organized lesson?

That’s the need this idea is looking to solve. As a teacher, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to pull up a quick Doc listing a variety of Maps, links to street view locations, example questions to use as a starting point? What about if I could contribute a lesson? Or if a student created a project on their cultural heritage and you’d like to share it with the world? If this is interesting to you, then you are in the right place.

Even though this round I wasn’t selected for the Innovator Program (Congratulations to all that were – and if you’d like to see passionate educators with excellent ideas check out this Youtube Search ) I didn’t want this idea to go to the wayside.

So – if you are interested in learning more about this idea, would like to share a resource or have some ideas on ways to improve the idea, please use the link below and join us!