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Students Transform into Animal Experts with Google Expeditions

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Embracing Valley Stream District 30’s new theme “You and MEdia,” first-graders in Christopher Nazario’s class at Forest Road School participated in a lesson with Google Expeditions on Sept. 27. To give proper attention to each student and the new technology, library media specialist On Kyung Joo worked with a group of four students to explore the San Diego Zoo Safari Park through their iPad and the Google Expeditions program. 

Google Expeditions allows teachers to take their students on virtual field trips or explorations with augmented reality or virtual reality. The district is embracing this new tool to give students a better understanding of the world around them and to create a bigger impact on specific lessons. Joo plans to gradually introduce Google Expeditions to classes as a push-in program. 

With iPads in hand, the first-graders journeyed to the zoo where they were able to move their device to see the different areas and animals. Joo guided the students as they looked at giraffes, rhinos and elephants. They spoke about what each animal eats and then completed a worksheet about what they learned on their virtual journey. Students wrote down each animal’s diet and the amount of food that they consume. This allowed them to not only practice their 21st century learning skills but also their writing and number skills. 

Joo reviewed the animals with the students again and asked them questions as if they were junior zookeepers. 

“It was great,” said first-grader Amber Booker. “I saw elephants and I liked seeing the tall giraffes.” 
 

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