These aren't your childhood field trips. Thanks to Google, your kid could venture anywhere from the depths of the ocean to the surface of Mars without leaving the classroom. It's all possible using Google's Cardboard VR viewer, the cutout that can turn any Android phone into a virtual reality gadget.
Google debuted a new VR Viewer feature called Expeditions at its I/O conference this year. Expeditions lets teachers escort students through all sorts of exotic locales, from Italy to Outer Space. The package includes 30 smartphones complete with cardboard VR Viewers and a tablet for the teacher.
Unlike expensive virtual reality tech like Oculus Rift, Google's Cardboard is more affordable for schools because it uses cheaper materials to deliver a VR experience.
"Our goal with Cardboard was really to make virtual reality accessible, affordable, easy and fun," said Clay Bavor, a VP of Product for Google.
Expeditions has value beyond vacations to inaccessible areas like Mars. It also has applications in English and Math, too.
The obvious use case for Expeditions is for a marine biology class to take a tour of the Great Barrier Reef, for example, but Bavor has also heard of an English teacher who brought her class to Verona because that's where Romeo and Juliet takes place. Or a math teacher who had her kids tour the Great Wall of China in a lesson on estimation, asking them to guess how many bricks there are in the wall.
It can even give students the chance to experience museums they might not have a chance to see in person. According to Engadget, Google took a GoPro camera to American Museum of Natural History so kids could see the exhibits using Cardboard VR viewers.
"Cardboard is about VR for everyone," said Bavor. And Google is just getting started. "This is not the end of our ambitions. We have plans far beyond what we showed."
If you already have an Android phone, you can make your very own Cardboard VR viewer. Click here to learn how.