MINETTO – Mrs. Kent’s fifth grade class at Minetto Elementary School looks out over New York Harbor, with the city skyline to their left and the towering Statue of Liberty to their right.
After a tour of Liberty Island, the class moves on to the Ellis Island Immigration Station, getting an up-close view of the great halls and antechambers where more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States from the late 1800s to 1950.
But how can her students see the sights of the Big Apple and still be back in time for lunch?
Through Google Expeditions, an innovative apparatus combining virtual reality technology and school curriculum, students can take a simulated field trip to nearly anywhere in the world.
“Most of us might not have the opportunity to get to the Statue of Liberty, or Ellis Island, but with this technology, we can go to the Great Barrier Reef, or a rainforest, and students can have their expectations challenged and see and experiences these great things in our world,” said Kim LeRoy, library media specialist at Minetto.
The Google Expeditions technology is owned by CiTi BOCES and available by request to all nine school districts in Oswego County.
Its explosive popularity with students has made Google Expeditions a hot commodity and at Minetto, the virtual field trips tie in with units of study.
Students in Kent’s class had been recently learning about immigration in the United States and without leaving their school, got a chance to, for at least a moment, interact with the famous places and events before only available in books or videos.