Alternatives to Google Expeditions
Google Expeditions and Tour Creator were among my favorite tools for taking students on virtual field trips and empowering them to create their own virtual tours. Now that they’ve moved to the EdTech Graveyard, it’s time to look for some alternatives. These alternatives are all free and work on any device (no expensive VR headsets required).
Google Arts and Culture
While Google has already shut down Expeditions, it’s shifting some of its content to Google Arts and Culture. As they explained on The Keyword blog: “we’re migrating most of them to Google Arts & Culture, accessible from the free site as well as the app on iOS or Android, where users can view the tours in 360 or on the web from any device.” You’ll want to check out the following collections:
- Street View – 360 tours of landmarks and famous sites.
- Augmented Reality – covering everything from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of space.
- 360 Video – explore the world and beyond.
Google Street View
As mentioned above, Google Street View has a collection of virtual tours available in Google Arts and Culture, but the Street View app is also a great replacement for Tour Creator. You can even use it to take 360-degree photos with a phone or tablet.
Google Earth offers a few notable features to help fill the Expeditions and Creator Void. In addition to being able to explore in 3-D, you’ll find interactive tours in Voyager. You can also use Projects to create interactive virtual tours within Google Earth.
Teachers can search 360 Schools for more than 350,00 360-degree photos from around the world. The site has recently started offering Guided Tours and a Tour Creator for teachers
Story Spheres has been around for quite a while now. They provide an easy-to-use platform to upload your 360-degree images and add audio hotspots to points of interest. You can also explore numerous user-generated tours like this one of Yosemite or this view of the Eiffel Tower.
You may be familiar with the interactive image creator Thinglink, but did you know it also works with 360-degree photos and videos? It’s a great alternative to Tour Creator.
360 Videos by National Geographic
If you’ve never viewed 360 videos on YouTube, you’re in for a treat. The folks at National Geographic have put together an impressive playlist.
Do You Have a Favorite Virtual Field Trip Site or Virtual Tour Creator?
Share your favorite Google Expeditions alternative in the comments below or on Twitter.
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