Divine Mercy introduces new virtual technology for students in the classroom


JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — The Divine Mercy Catholic Academy has introduced a new technology called Google Expeditions to students in the classroom.

A Google Pixel phone is put into a Google Cardboard, or headset, for students to look into.

“So what this allows us to do is it allows our students basically to experience things like…today our students went on a trip to Jerusalem. They’re able to look around through this viewfinder and they can look 360 degrees up, down, left, right and they can see what Jerusalem looks like,” says Branden Miller, I.T. Administrator.

The devices were delivered last week and Miller says the tech not only supplements but transforms things students are learning in the classroom.

“When I was in school, the Declaration of Independence was a picture you saw in a textbook. With this, the kids can actually look at a virtual reality picture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.”

The Google Expedition devices aren’t limited to just learning about history.

“We also open the ability to do college tours so we can have our kids in sixth grade or seventh-grade taking college tours and seeing bits and pieces of Notre Dame and Penn State University.”

Ann Marie George, a sixth-grader at Divine Mercy, says using these devices could help make studying and some school work more fun.

“Doing it in other subjects would make more people probably want to go to school and try it out because it’s really fun to do. You want to reach out and grab it but you can’t because it’s not there.”

The possibilities with using Google Expedition are endless, says Miller.

“The more content that Google creates in virtual reality and augmented reality, we open up the ability for kids of all multiple styles of learning to have their own individualized way.”

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