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Google goggles bring lessons in Thatcham to life

Kennet School pupils experience virtual reality

Google goggles bring lessons in Thatcham to life

PUPILS at Kennet School were transported around the world last week without stepping outside the classroom.

The Amazon basin and Mars were some of the locations visited by pupils through virtual reality via Google Cardboard.

The project uses a cardboard viewer and apps on a smartphone for people to ‘experience’ locations. 

A team of Google employees, who volunteer for the company’s Pioneer Expedition outreach programme, set up in the school’s community space, and hosted 300 pupils in 30-minute expeditions throughout the day.

Deputy headteacher Gemma Piper said that teachers used the experience to bring lesson content to life.

She said: “As pupils held the Google Cardboard devices up to their faces for the first time the excitement in the room was palpable and they were quick to explore their new virtual surroundings, spinning 360 degrees and looking up and down for the full experience.”

Among the expeditions, a Year 7 class wondered round the Amazon Basin, a Year 11 geography class explored a range of landforms all around the world and a Year 8 class explored a day in the life of a news reader while wondering around the production studios. 

Year 11s and Sixth form pupils experienced career expeditions, including a day in the life of a social worker as well as exploring the technical design of the Mars Rover – while on Mars.

One pupil said: “I can’t wait to tell my mum that I was in the Antarctic today.”

Miss Piper said: “At Kennet we look for every opportunity to create memorable learning experiences.

“News spread fast throughout the day and there was a real buzz as pupils and staff experienced places the minibus cannot go.”

Kennet School seems to be a school at the cutting edge of technological leaps. 

The robot revolution began last year with Eva, a robot that allows pupils to see the results of their coding and programming lessons away from the computer screen. 

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