Immersive Learning

Google Expeditions Takes Students on VR Tours of Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace

Google has added two new virtual reality tours to its Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, a VR platform designed specifically for classroom use and available free for schools.

The two new programs include tours of Buckingham Palace and the Great Barrier Reef. The GBR program was developed by David Attenborough and Alchemy VR, which provides a 360-degree tour of the reef and the marine life it supports. For the Buckingham Palace Expedition, Google has also released a YouTube 3D video that's accessible to the public (seen below). When viewing on a mobile phone, the user can change the point of view of the video fluidly in 360 degrees simply by moving the device around. Settings also allow for stereoscopic 3D for a more immersive experience.

To date, according to Google, some 500,000 students have participated in virtual journeys since the program's launch in September.

As part of the program, Google is sending teams to schools throughout the world, providing all of the tools needed to participate in expeditions. Google has also released a beta version of the Expeditions app and is seeking educators to test it.

Signups for both the app and the in-person tours are open to educators now on Google's Expeditions site.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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