LGBTQ history comes to life in the classroom with Google Expeditions


In celebration of National Coming Out Day, Google has launched a tour through New York City's LGBTQ history through Google Expeditions, a virtual reality app that will change the way teachers are able to engage students in classroom learning. Expeditions are collections of virtual reality content–360 degree panoramas and 3D images–that are supplemented with educational annotations, discussion topics, and questions.

Among the existing tour locations, which include places such as Buckingham Palace and the Great Barrier Reef, is 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender New York City History'–a tour that explores NYC landmarks that have shaped the LGBTQ movement. This tour reveals challenges the LGBTQ community has faced in fighting for civil rights and helps to ignite meaningful classroom dialogue.

GLAAD's New York City headquarters is one of the destinations on the NYC historical LGBTQ sites tour. This has allowed for a sharing of GLAAD's history, rooted in the existence of grossly defamatory and sensationalized reporting on HIV and AIDS in the 1980's, the important work of co-founder, Vito Russo, and a peak into GLAAD's current work, such as the GLAAD Media Awards.

Here are some examples of questions that follow the virtual step into GLAAD's office:

Why is it so important that media and entertainment outlets make the LGBTQ community visible and accurately depicted in their work?

What can GLAAD's formation tell us about the power of localized social movements and the ability for active and informed citizens to make real, lasting change?

The app has also aided in breaking barriers surrounding the integration of LGBTQ content into school curriculums. The tour can also be paired with an extensive lesson plan tailored for student's grades 9-12. Complete with discussion on important vocabulary and questions that promote critical thinking about the past, present, and future climate of LGBTQ rights, this educational resource is crucial for accelerating acceptance among today's youth.

To see the tour, download Google Expeditions and search LGBT New York City History.