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Google plans to let a million U.K. students experience virtual reality

Over the years Google has been one of the better organizations for getting technology into classrooms for the innovators of the future. Now it wants to do the same with virtual reality with its announcement to have a million students experience the technology for the first time.

Announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his first trip to the U.K. since taking on the role, the plan will be part of Google’s Expeditions Program. It will offer VR training and resources to teachers, making it possible for them to take the kids on educational and entertaining trips to exotic locations that they would never get to visit otherwise.

“We’ve already received feedback from thousands of teachers in the U.K. and they believe that Expeditions can improve literacy and writing skills, and help create excitement to complement traditional teaching methods,” Pichai told Engadget. He also highlighted experiences like looking at the Great Barrier Reef up close to discussing climate change or heading inside the human body to look at the circulatory system as potential uses for the technology.

The program, which schools can sign up for here, will offer free hardware and expertise to schools, with a Google Expedition team delivering all of it. Better yet, the search giant has worked with educators around the world to develop as many as 200 experiences and lessons, all complete with plans and a tablet-control hub for the teachers to manage.

The overall virtual reality experience is quite simple and appears to be almost entirely made up of 360-degree images. However, the potential is certainly there for more advanced lessons in the future.

Google Cardboard hardware appeared to be in use in the promotional video too, so here is hoping Google quickly transitions to something a bit more impressive. Perhaps it is in-development Daydream hardware.