School board takes virtual trip to Rio

Teachers and students from Rising Starr Middle School showed off a new learning tool to the Fayette County Board of Education on Sept. 6. The Google Expeditions virtual reality gear gives students the ability to take a field trip without leaving the classroom.
School board members and many in the audience tried out the headwear, which looked similar to the 1950s-era Viewmaster stereoscopic viewing device, but with obvious updates.
Expeditions is outfitted with a gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometer, all of which are essential for determining orientation and doing head-tracking in the virtual reality viewer.
Staff said there are currently 230 expedition choices available. Those at the Sept. 6 meeting took a side trip to Rio de Janeiro.
Expeditions can be used for a variety of academic courses and is being piloted now. There are 20 units available for check-out to schools and up to 10 others might be added. The units are purchased with one-percent sales tax revenues.