Superintendent Dr. Alan Cron
34 MacKinlay Way,
Rockland, MA 02370
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Rockland Students Among First to Try Google’s New Augmented Reality Technology
ROCKLAND — Superintendent Dr. Alan Cron is pleased to announce that Rockland Public Schools students recently got a first-hand look — literally — at Google’s new augmented reality (AR) technology.
A Google representative visited the joint library at the Rockland High School and Rogers Middle School on Feb. 12-13, as part of the company’s beta testing of the Google Expeditions AR app. Google is testing the app at schools across the country.
The app teaches students in 3D, bringing volcanoes, globes and animals to life inside the classroom. The software also has the potential to take the entire educational experience — from history to geography to biology — and make it three dimensional. Click here for a video of Google Expeditions AR in action.
Over 900 Rockland students from the district’s five schools gathered in the library last week, where they were able to use smart phones and selfie sticks provided by Google to immerse themselves in the augmented reality experience. Students took turns pointing and moving the phones around the room. 3D images were displayed on the screens making them appear like they were right in front of them. The students were able to walk around and view the different 3D images from every side and angle.
The app, still in its developmental phase, currently offers more than 30 different topics with educational programs that include: Forces of Nature, World War II, Ancient Rome and Da Vinci’s Inventions.
This was not the first time Google representatives have visited Rockland students. Two years ago, Rockland Public Schools helped beta test the virtual reality app in its earlier stages. This allowed teachers to field test the new technology and understand how it would help them enhance the curriculum.
The following year, the Rockland Education Foundation awarded its first A. Scott MacKinlay Impact Grant that allowed RPS to purchase two classroom sets of Google Expeditions virtual reality headsets and technology. There are now over 700 virtual reality tours available to students from all grades.
“This type of technology allows students to become immersed in their education in ways they’ve never been able to before. All without having to leave the classroom,” said Lisa Ryan, Instructional Technology Integration Specialist for Rockland Schools. “I was really pleased to see students from all grade levels enjoying the experience and thank Google for allow us the opportunity to once again experience it first-hand.”