Google Expeditions stopped by here! *drops mic*
When I found out about the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, I was extremely skeptical that out students would get the opportunity in little old Darlington, SC. So I was beyond ECSTATIC when the emails started rolling in. After looking at our options, we were able to provide this experience to students in six schools.
And what an experience it was! Can I just say, “My tail is TIRED!” 🙂 But despite that, I would do it all over again.
Before we got started with a session, I’d say to the kids, “You know…..we may go to Egypt today…..we may visit the moon…..we might even swim with the sharks…all without leaving your seat. The looks on their faces….the excitement….the wonder….
The “Oooohhhhh” that I heard a million times each day, brought pure joy to my heart. The students were engaged, they were excited, they whined when their time was up. And each and every time, I heard it, I thought to myself, “This is what I live for. This is why it’s important to provide unique experiences for our students.” But the teachers were rejuvenated as well. I could see the wheels turning in their heads….how amazing would this experience be if we could use this with our lessons? We study biomes in Science, but then to actually experience it…..the VR experience is so much MORE than just looking at pictures in a book.
We sometimes take for granted what our students have access to – or what they’ll even eventually experience. So many of the students in my school district have never even been to the beach – and it’s only 90 miles away.
Something that resonated with me from our district Design Team’s visit to Albermarle County. “All Means All” It is important to provide these experiences for ALL of our children. Not just the affluent ones….not just the gifted ones…ALL OF THEM.
I definitely commend the principals whose schools were involved. We are in the middle of MAP season (standardized computer test) and it would have been easy for them to say, “We just can’t fit it into our schedule.” But each of them worked with me to make sure that we could provide this opportunity with very little turn around time. Each time we needed to make an adjustment, they said, “We’ll make it work.” And they did.
It is imperative that we redesign school for 21st Century learning. No more of this “sit and git”….and yes I mean “git”….I’m a Southern girl after all. Sometimes we WILL have to inconvenience ourselves for the greater good. And in every situation, every opportunity, every day….ALL MEANS ALL.
Until the next time,