google Do you remember back when your elementary school Science teacher taught you about the solar system, and how you wished you could see it from an astronaut’s perspective? Do you remember when your Jewish history teacher referenced one of the holy spots in Yerushalayim, and how you carefully tried to imagine what it looked like throughout the rest of the lesson? On November 24th, Hillel Torah was privileged to be one of the first schools to no longer imagine, but truly experience just so, via a pilot Google program called “Google Expeditions” – a “virtual reality platform built for the classroom.” This program is designed to “immerse students in entirely new experiences” which bring the topics students have been studying to life in a way never before possible. Previously, students could have simply viewed videos of the solar system or places in Israel with the help of YouTube and other video channels, but these familiar perspectives have since been brought to an entirely new level. With Google Expeditions, students had the opportunity to engage in virtual reality journeys and partook in lifelike “expeditions” to places where even buses can’t go! With a completely 3-D vantage point, they looked up, down, and all around (360°!), with just a smartphone and special Google viewer*! Our students swam underwater with sharks and dolphins by coral reef, walked on the moon, explored the Amazon rainforest, wandered through Singapore and even stood inches away from a gorilla (a crowd favorite)! Needless to say, our students had a wonderful time participating in the program – their incredulous faces say it all! Many even tried to touch the amazing scenes in front of them! Hillel Torah is proud to be at the forefront of innovative technology that is certain to enhance education for years to come. *If you are interested in experiencing Google Expeditions, Google Cardboard and other viewing glasses are available for purchase here. Make sure to download the free Google “Cardboard” app (or other “virtual reality” apps) for a limited expedition version.   DSC_3725 DSC_3579 DSC_3548DSC_3587

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