If your school is like mine, you do not have funds for field trips to museums or historic sites. Thanks to the Google Cultural Institute, you can bring museums and historical sites into your classroom virtually. The ability to bring in art pieces and visit historical sites can lead to some GREAT discussions. This is an especially great opportunity for those shy and artistic students to be engaged, demonstrate their understanding of the content and feel empowered. You may want to plan additional time for using these pieces, at least I have always found this to be true… the students are SOOO engaged! Upon arriving at the site, there are three projects; Art Project, Historic Moments, and World Wonders. There are many possible uses of the Google Cultural Institute by teachers and students.
Once you are in the Art Project, you may explore by collections, artists, and artworks. Once you find an art piece of interest you can zoom in to amazing clarity and view the colors, textures, and brush strokes- this is great for discussing art movements. In addition to the zoom factor, you may select on details located to the left of the image to learn more about the art piece.
In the Historic Moments collection one will encounter monuments, collections, and videos. Select a moment and explore the slideshow. This is a great resource for inquiry and examination of primary sources. The format is very student friendly and similar to a museum exhibit. Select Discover on the bottom left to find other similar exhibits. Students and teachers can also save exhibits to return to later on.
Then there is World Wonders where you will find locations, places, art, and street views in some instances. This is a great tool to explore historical places and examine the architecture and landscape. Simply select locations to bring up a map and select a blue dot of the location you wish to explore. Once you find a location, simply select it to access available street views, items, and videos.
If this was not enough, you or your students can also curate your own gallery (think student creating a multimedia presentation for CCSS). The possibilities of what one can do are only limited by one’s imagination. Teachers can take students on virtual field trips or curate resources for class discussions on cultural or historic sites. Collections or your own curated gallery can also be shared with students in webquests, as part of a PBL unit, or via Google+, Twitter, or email with the share icon. This also has potential for students researching topics for class assignments, projects, or history day. Additionally, the curation tool lends Google Cultural Institute to be utilized by students to curate their own multimedia presentations for classroom presentations, digital portfolios, or blog entries.Students may carry out their curiosity outside the classroom in exploring the world, even creating their own bucket list of places to explore.