By: Jen Schneider
Until recently, I thought Google Arts & Culture, Google’s curation of artwork, images, and even experiments was merely Blob Opera and a way to explore museums. Once I was introduced to all Google Arts & Culture’s offerings during a district online course, I couldn’t stop. This isn’t just a website of links and artwork. In fact, Google Arts & Culture is a whole new way to explore culture through an immersive lens. Here are a few of my favorite findings.
Art Lenses on the App
To try this feature, you’ll need to download the Google Arts & culture app on your phone. Try the “Art Projector” to see paintings like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to scale in your own room or “Pet Portrait” to see what your own pet looks like in animal portraits throughout art history. Other art lenses let you transform your photos to styles of artists, see snapshots and artwork in augmented reality, and find your own portrait match with “Art Selfie”. Classroom Connection: Have students take photos of their own artwork and transform it into a style of a different artist using “Art Transfer”.
Many of the Google Arts & Culture games come from Google Experiments. Cultural Crosswords let you try crossword puzzles featuring topics such as arts, people and places around the world, science and technology, fashion, nature, and weekly crosswords with multiple topics. Puzzle Party challenges you to put together a digital puzzle of a famous work of art. You can solve the puzzle on your own or share with a friend in the next room or across the globe in a multi-player format. Classroom Connection: Use the crossword puzzles for enrichment in your content area or as brain breaks.
There are so many experiments created by coders and artists in Google Arts & Culture. You or your students can even submit your own experiment! Explore any of the 18 collections or use the search function to find experiments related to your students’ career interests or your content areas. Search the word “books”, for example, and find the Artificial Intelligence experiment, “Talk to Books”, which searches 100,000 books to respond to conversational statements or questions through quotations and dialogue. Search “dance” to find several innovative VR and AR experiments using light, movement, and code. “Geography” brings up a “Where on Google Earth is Carmen San Diego?” experiment using Google Earth that leads your students on a chase to recover crown jewels. Classroom Connection: There are too many to list! Search your unit or content area and find yourself in an endless rabbit hole of games, AI, and collections.
Virtual Field Trips/Expeditions
Google Arts & Culture allows you and your students to travel around the world without leaving your device. Find a virtual field trip by selecting a subject area: science & technology, arts, geography, natural history, or history. Explore different parts of the globe, including museums, the Seven Wonders of the World, and more. Google Arts & Culture is constantly adding places and experiences. One of my favorites is touring world festivals or taking a trip to the moon in 1966. Classroom Connection: Take a field trip that would never be possible without an unlimited budget. You can click the nearby button to find museums and Expeditions near you or the place you’re studying. The Virtual Field trips have connections to so many content areas!
These are a few ways to use Google Arts & Culture in your classroom or just for your own exploration. Share some of your favorite Google Arts & Culture finds on Twitter or Facebook using #yourneta! What are your favorites?