Google introducing VR into several UK classrooms

Sundar Pichai wants to help UK build up digital skills

Google is bringing virtual reality (VR) to one million children in UK schools, accorsing to its CEO, Sundar Pichai.

The announcement came during Pichai's first visit to the UK as chief executive - the project is called Google Expeditions and the  initiative will run throughout the next school year.

Google Expeditions are collections of VR content and learning support materials, which teachers can use during their lessons to help children learn curricular topics with the help of VR experiences. For instance, Expeditions could allow children to go on virtual trips to museums, inside the human body or in outer space.

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Pichai said (via Wired): "Virtual reality can spark students' imagination and help them learn about topics like how blood flows through the human body or the impact climate change is having on the Great Barrier Reef, in an engaging and immersive way".

Within the next couple of months, a team delivering Google Expeditions will be visiting schools in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle and Inverness. 

During an event at Google's London headquarters yesterday, Pichai also announced the launch of an initiative aimed at providing free digital skills training to all those living in the UK. Google will provide five hours of free digital skills training to any individual who wishes to learn.

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Pichai said: "No matter where you live, no matter where you're from, no matter what your job is - you deserve access to all the information, education and opportunity the web has to offer."

The digital skills training is part of a programme called The Digital Garage, which has already trained around 250,000 individuals in the UK.

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From 2017, Google will also offer free online courses through the Digital Garage Academy, and training face-to-face in 100 cities around the UK.

The Google Expeditions initiative is free for all schools in the UK, and interested teachers can sign-up for it here.

Google's digital courses, on the other hand, can be accessed here.

Image Credit: Google

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