As recently as the 2016-2017 school year, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of schools responding to a survey said they have tested virtual reality solutions, and while that number could certainly be higher, it’s an indication that the technology is expanding.

These days, virtual reality has moved from a hypothetical in vintage sci-fi movies to a legitimate learning tool that, when used correctly, helps students increase both engagement and achievement.

That same survey also noted that almost two-thirds of schools said they are somewhat unsure or not sure their IT infrastructure can currently support virtual reality technology, and some schools also mentioned a lack of available virtual reality content.

But as companies such as Google, Samsung and Sony expand their virtual reality tools and content, the technology’s use in education is becoming more and more real.

With so many educators hopping on the Google Expeditions bandwagon, classroom virtual reality seems like it’s within reach.

Google Expeditions are collections of virtual reality panoramas–360° panoramas and 3D images–annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. They help teachers bring their students on virtual field trips to places like museums, landmarks and outer space.

In an eight-step infographic, Heather Kilgore, an instructional technology coordinator for Commerce ISD in Commerce, Texas, shares the lessons learned from her district’s Google Expeditions pilot program.

(Next page: 8 steps to your best virtual reality pilot)


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