The long-time Educator's favorite app, Google Expeditions, was discontinued today. A replacement app is available now for educators: VR EXPEDITIONS 2.0 from RobotLAB Inc.
SAN FRANCISCO, July 2, 2021, RobotLAB Inc., the leading educational robotics company, announced today that with the sunsetting of Google Expeditions, educators aren't left without a solution for virtual reality field trips in the classroom. The company's VR Expeditions 2.0 for classroom app and content management system that was created in partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica and 360 cities is available for all educators, with kits purchased from RobotLAB or any other vendor.
"Teachers absolutely love virtual field trips," said Elad Inbar, the CEO of RobotLAB Inc. "We live in a wonderful, beautiful, magnificent world. It is history- and culture-rich, diverse, and awe-inspiring. And teachers love bringing it all to their classrooms, and take students places, lead their way, and excite their discovery and path-finding."
"Especially nowadays, when everything around us is in mayhem, and the reality isn't a fun place to be in, going on high-definition virtual field trips can infuse new excitement to an everyday lesson," added Mr. Inbar.
In the past four years, RobotLAB was the leading partner for Google Expeditions and the only company certified to ship Google Expeditions Kits globally. Following Google's decision to stop their VR efforts, discontinuing Google DayDream and the Expeditions app, RobotLAB decided to take advantage of this opportunity, partner with Encyclopedia Britannica, and introduce VR Expeditions 2.0™.
Educators can pick an expedition from hundreds of available expeditions on the all-new system, save locally their favorite expeditions, provide student hand-outs curated by Encyclopedia Britannica, broadcast different scenes to the students and manage the classroom. The unique design was built with educators and classroom management in mind, saving teachers time and streamlining virtual field trips.
The app supports all Android-based devices in the market, phones in VR goggles, Lenovo Mirage Solo, Lenovo S3 and Pico, ClassVR, and many others. The app supports teacher's tablets and student devices.
VR Expeditions 2.0™ does not require any recurring subscription or a yearly fee. The one-time license purchase allows schools to optimize their budgets without paying again in the following years for the content they already accessed. Students don't need internet access, as the teacher guides the virtual field trip from her tablet. On top of that, based on learning from the past, the content the teachers favor is saved locally on the teacher's device, so they are not dependent on any future service availability or internet access to run their lessons.
The company offers three pre-configured kits:
- Standard Expeditions 2.0™,
- AR/VR Expeditions 2.0™, and
- Advanced Expeditions 2.0™
The different kits allowing schools with different budgets to access the virtual field trips. Moreover, schools with existing hardware (student and teacher devices) can retrofit their existing kits (no matter where they got it from) to run VR Expeditions 2.0™
Video transcript below.
Learn more about Expeditions 2.0 by RobotLAB!
RobotLAB VR Expeditions 2.0™ is inspired by the great work Google did, and following feedback from thousands of educators, RobotLAB created a VR tool tailored to educators’ needs.
Elad Inbar: Hello everyone, my name is Elad Inbar and I'm the CEO of RobotLAB.
Paul Knaack: Hello, I'm Paul Knaack, and I am the Customer Success Manager also here at RobotLAB.
Elad Inbar: And today it's July 1st, 2021. And today Google actually discontinued its Google Expeditions app. And I'm sure many of you are confused and not sure what to do. And you may see all kinds of errors or erratic behavior from the Google expeditions app and we are here to help you. We named this video specifically Google expedition is gone; now what? Because we want to show you that there is a solution and you are not alone and we are here to take care of you.
Paul Knaack: If you already have some expeditions downloaded in your library, you probably will be able to view those for probably the next 30 days or depending on how long you've had them downloaded. There may be some erratic behavior though. Some may work fine. Some may actually spin and like make you very dizzy, but eventually, those will disappear and you won't be able to use the app again. If you try to download a new expedition, you'll get an error message, as you see down below.
Elad Inbar: So, as you can see Google Expedition is done, and you can actually remove it from your devices, both the student devices and the teacher devices. It’s not going to work and Google announced that it's basically deprecated it going forward, but we've got you covered. You don't need to worry, RobotLab is dedicated to educators. We care about you and we want you to succeed in your classroom. We want you to be able to keep using the hardware that you invested in; that's why we developed Expeditions 2.0. This was developed together with Encyclopedia Britannica and 360Cities, which are the leading in 360 content and educational content.
Paul Knaack: So, first:
Find: Find the VR Expeditions 2 app.
Open: When you open the app, it takes you to the main screen here on the main screen, we can browse expeditions.
Search: We can scroll through, find an expedition we like, let's go ahead and go back up to the top and just pick the first one; 9-11 Memorial. Just so you can see it has a small picture and a brief description of what's in it.
Select: We'll click on that. And in here it shows that we have four scenes, it's for all grades and covers History and Geography.
Download: We now need to download this to our tablet.
Process: To do this:
you click on “Add to My Expeditions”. You'll see it download.
Once all of the scenes say “ready”, you're ready to broadcast.
But we should check and see if it downloaded into our expeditions file.
So, by clicking on “My Expeditions”, we can scroll through and see that it is now saved on our tablet.
Open Again: So, we'll go ahead and open it again. And now we want to broadcast to our students.
Ready for Broadcasting: We click on ready for scene number one, and it now shows the scene. We can scroll through to kind of visualize it ourselves. Now by me scrolling this way, this is not what the students see. They'll be seeing what's in their goggle by looking left and right. There is a description here on the left side and by hitting the play button, we can now broadcast out to students.
Beauty in Sharing/Next Scenes: Once we're done with this scene, we can hit the next screen, and it'll open up the next screen, which is the construction of the Memorial. Again, we can look around and see what the students will see. This will automatically transfer to their goggles once they're connected. Once we're done with this scene, we hit the next screen. And we go to the third one. This here is the tribute where we have the high school glow-in-the-dark tower simulation. We go to the next screen. And this is actually a view from the top of the towers, which unfortunately no one will ever see again. So, this is a good way to share that with your students.
Play: Again, we hit play. That'll broadcast out to the goggles and you have a great bit of curriculum that you can share.
Connection: So right now, we're going to go back out. And how can you tell how many students are connected to your device?
Devices: By clicking on “My Students”, this will list the number of devices you have available. And as you noticed, both were in red, once the student is connected, it highlights green, and now, you know that that student is ready for broadcast.
Ensure Everyone is Connected: We want to wait for all the students to turn green, and then we can go back to our expedition and share it with everyone.
Restart: If there are any of them that are not green, they will not be able to join the broadcast and you'll have to restart the broadcast.
Now, when we go back to our expedition, we'll go back into 9-11 Memorial, and let's broadcast this out in New York City. And if you look up here on the top, it says one student is connected to RobotLAB Wi-Fi, which means they are able to see this.
If you have 10 students in your class and you have 10 goggles, that should say 10.
If it doesn't, then you know that someone needs to connect before you start this expedition.
Simultaneously: Once they're all connected, once again, you hit the play button on the bottom, and that will now broadcast to all the goggles.
Elad Inbar: As you can see, there is a replacement for Google expeditions. It's called VR Expeditions 2.0 and it's available exclusively from RobotLAB. We developed that for you for educators, because we care about you and we don't want you to stay behind.
Paul Knaack: It doesn't matter which hardware you purchased, whether you purchased an actual phone that slides into a Goggle. If you have cardboard or even a Goggle, it also works in the Mirage solo, the Lenovo Mirage Solo. So, this will be compatible with that. It also works the Lenovo VRS3, which is also a Pico device. Again, compatible with both. And if you already have Class VR it actually works with this also.
Elad Inbar: Both versions.
Paul Knaack: The old ones and the newer version. So, this solution will help anyone who's already gotten stuff in the past. If you don't have VR Solutions, then we can offer one for you.
Elad Inbar: So, whether you already have the hardware and you need just the licenses or, you want to move your classroom into virtual reality, into virtual field trips, contact us. Details are right here. Call us, email us. We are here for you. If you need a trial version to test it on your hardware, we can also offer that at no cost. Thank you very much. Stay safe out there. And we are excited to keep the virtual reality expeditions tradition going forward.