12 January 2017

Students and tutors at West Nottinghamshire College had the chance to explore the globe during a day of virtual reality adventures with Google.

Google Expeditions enables students to take field trips from their classrooms and yesterday (11 January) over 500 students at the college were able to experience virtual field trips using a smartphone and Google Cardboard – the virtual reality headsets.

Just a few of the many places visited using the state-of-the-art 3D technology included the Great Wall of China, the solar system, The Great Barrier Reef, and students scaled the heights of the 163 floors of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai.

Tutors joined Google Expeditions representatives to guide their classes through the immersive learning experience whilst pointing out facts, figures and valuable information about what they were viewing.

Google Expeditions can also take learners into the world of industry, to give them a full insight into areas that they may choose to work such as nursing, engineering, hospitality and art and design.

One group took a 360 degree tour around a workshop which was making a range of new products showing them all the different stages from design and production to testing.

Electrical technology student Nathan Randall said:

“I’ve tried virtual reality before but there’s been a lot more choice than I thought there would be to try. Using VR in the classroom will be really beneficial.

“A lot of my work is design work for electrical layouts and being immersed in a virtual reality situation can help you plan ahead. You don’t just see one picture like you would in a book but you get that full 360 degree visualisation of a project.”

Curriculum manager for computer science Trudi Dean said:

“Google are at the cutting edge of new technology and to have a global brand in Mansfield sharing this programme with our students was such a fantastic opportunity.

“Google Expeditions allows us to build more immersive learning experiences for our students than ever before and we’re looking forward to exploring more ways of bringing learning to life in these exciting new ways.”

West Nottinghamshire College provides education and training to some 30,000 full- and part-time students across all major industry sectors and at pre-GCSE to university level.

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