Expeditions is a virtual reality educational app. Educators create and share tours of anything – from plants’ and animals’ anatomy to underwater exploration to visiting museums and monuments or natural landmarks. They act as guides for their students, and it is an engaging way to have a lesson in any subject.
The app is free on Android and iOS, and Google offers users to purchase Expedition Kits consisting of a router, a tablet, phones, and VR viewers.
Google announced the Expedition tool will be discontinued on June 30, 2021. The main reason for the decision was the new educational challenges that emerged in 2020, as shared by Google’s director of education program management, Jennifer Holland.
Teachers, parents, and students had faced various difficulties with adapting to distant teaching and learning. As Ms. Holland mentioned in her post, not everyone could afford access to VR equipment. That is why Google decided to move most of Expedition’s virtual tours to the Google Arts & Culture app, where the content would be available for everyone.
Another reason for Google’s decision might have been them taking a step back from the VR technology stage. They had already announced the shut-down of the Daydream platform in 2020. They also turned Cardboard, their Expedition-compatible VR viewer, into an open-source community project.