NPS Gives Students Access to Virtual Reality Field Trips with Google Expeditions

District Continues to Invest in Technology to Accelerate Learning

October 14, 2015 – Newark, New Jersey – Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced today that it is participating in Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program, a new pilot program that allows teachers to take students on virtual reality field trips around the world. Throughout the week, Newark teachers will learn how to lead Expeditions and effectively use the technology to bring unique learning experiences into their classrooms. Google Expeditions is just the latest example of how NPS is integrating technology to accelerate learning.

“Technology has become a critical tool to enhance instruction and learning,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools.  “Over the past four years, the district has made extensive investments in education technology and associated professional development citywide to ensure our students have the tools and knowledge they need to be college and career ready. With Google Expeditions, our teachers will be able to make their lesson plans come alive and enable their students to experience places they never dreamed of visiting.”

Google recently launched their Expeditions Pioneer Program in various countries including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Brazil and the United States. Google collaborated with teachers throughout the world to provide students with over 100 possible virtual reality field trips.  Schools were chosen based upon their level of interest in the program.

“Expeditions is a powerful learning tool – it provides a unique opportunity for supplemental learning by giving students new ways of exploring the concepts and places they are studying,” said Jen Holland, Program Manager, Google for Education. “We’ve been thrilled to see teachers use Expeditions to bring abstract concepts to life and provide students with a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom, infusing learning with excitement and fun.”

NPS’ participation in the Expeditions Pioneer Program is the latest example of how the district is investing in technology to create a more engaging educational experience for students and to ensure they are college and career ready. The district has focused its efforts on using technology to help gauge students’ understanding of lessons, provide better feedback in real-time, and create more stimulating lessons by integrating digital learning experiences into the curriculum.

“We are excited to have access to this innovative new technology,” said Ginamarie Mignone, principal of Dr. William H. Horton Elementary School, which Google visited today to deliver Expeditions kits and train teachers in the technology.  “Google Expeditions will equip classrooms with a unique digital experience, further enhancing our instruction methods and the way our students learn through technology.”

Google Expeditions teams will be visiting Newark Public Schools throughout the week to provide training sessions for students and teachers with a specific focus on those participating in NPS’ Digital Transformation pilot program. Schools that Google Expeditions teams will be visiting include: Franklin Elementary; Dr. William H. Horton Elementary School; McKinley Elementary School; John F. Kennedy High School; Marin Elementary School; Technology High School; East Side High School; Chancellor Avenue School; and Quitman Street Community School.

In addition to Google Expeditions, NPS has implemented three strategic initiatives focused on the effective use of technology in district schools and classrooms: monthly Digital Learning Institute (DLI) workshops with teacher leaders from NPS schools responsible for supporting instructional technology through ongoing and embedded coaching, a purposeful integration of technology into the district’s core curriculum, and an expanded partnership with a subset of schools participating in a Digital Transformation Pilot initiative.

“Technological devices like Google Expeditions are a natural extension of our work to infuse technology in our curriculum to help enhance learning,” said Joshua Koen, Special Assistant for Technology at Newark Public Schools. “We are committed to using this technology successfully to ensure it is helping our young people receive a well-rounded, 21st Century education.”

Since May 2011, NPS has deployed 3,700 new wireless access points in all of the district’s schools, upgraded the district’s wide area network (WAN) connecting all NPS schools from 10MB to 1GB fiber optic circuits, and most recently purchased over 11,000 student Google Chromebook laptops with the goal of facilitating 21st learning environments.

To learn more about Google Expeditions visit:

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