Yesterday, Google launched a new project called Connected Classrooms. Connected Classrooms uses Google+ Hangouts On Air to take students on virtual field trips to museums and zoos. In these Google+ Hangouts On Air students may have the opportunity to ask questions of the museum and zoo experts that are leading the virtual field trips. You can find a complete schedule of virtual field trips on the Connected Classrooms website. On the same site you can find links to the recordings of the first Connected Classrooms field trips that were conducted yesterday.
Watching the recordings of the Connected Classrooms field trips probably won’t be an engaging experience for your students, but it will give you a sense of what to expect when your class joins a live session. I’ve embedded below the recording of the Connected Classrooms Hangout with the Seattle Aquarium.
Applications for Education
I prefer virtual field trips that put students in charge of navigation and direction of their experience, the Connected Classrooms Hangouts don’t seem to do that. That said, if you’re looking for your students to learn first-hand from experts on a particular topic then the Connected Classrooms Hangouts could be useful.