This Google Expedition wants to teach kids about the refugee crisis

The UK government is the latest fan of Google Cardboard
Google Expedition teaches kids about Syria

The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) is getting into VR with a 360 degree Google Expedition on the impact of the refugee crisis on children.

The first short Out of Syria, Back Into School centres around two child refugees who have fled Syria for Lebanon, one is working with his father and one has been able to attend school thanks to aid from the UK.

It's an experience designed for Google Cardboard and will be available to view via the Expeditions Pioneer Programme beta, which is open to schools and after school programmes to sign up for. It's going live to view as a 360 degree video on YouTube 360 on 12 February and is also being demoed at the two day VRUK 2016 festival at Ravensbourne University.

Read this: The best Google Cardboard apps and experiences

Marisol Grandon, head of creative content for DFID, namechecked the series of VR videos created by Gabo Arora at the UN and Chris Milk at VRSE. Clouds over Sidra has been used to double UNICEF donations on the street after people viewed the seven minute piece.

Image credit: Adam Patterson/Panos/DFID

But the new DFID video was shot in Lebanon very recently, in January. This lent a sense of urgency when it was shown to UK ministers and world leaders such as the WHO's director general, Margaret Chan, at last week's Supporting Syria conference in London. The conference as a whole ultimately raised more than $10bn in pledges to help put an end to the refugee crisis.

"It was shot at six different locations and is designed for people to learn about the refugee crisis from a child's point of view," said Grandon. "We're working with Google on the whole series and we're hoping to try out the Jump camera rig."

Further 360 degree videos in the series will include a short on life after Ebola in Sierra Leone as well as virtual, educational trips to explore issues in Kenya and Bangladesh.

Recently Google revealed that half a million students have gone on virtual school trips so far. This also now includes an Expedition created by Google and the Royal Collection Trust which takes viewers through some of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.

1 Comment

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