OnCUE

A Night at the (Virtual) Museum

paint palette

For many of us, summer vacations include a trip to a museum to see famous works of art. If you can’t get away, don’t like crowds, or simply can’t get enough, give Google Arts and Culture a try. With Google Arts and Culture, you and your students can visit museums, tour famous sites and landmarks, and explore world culture, right from your computer, Android, or iOS device.

Explore the Grand Canyon and Machu Picchu, then take a tour of the British Museum, and finally immerse yourself in the beauty of everyday Japanese items. Whatever your passion, you will find something here to satisfy your cultural curiosity.

Every week, different stories and themes are showcased. As of this writing, the curators are highlighting musical instruments from around the world, flamenco dancing, the Central Academy of Fine Arts museum in Beijing, the African Heritage House, Pakistani women of arts and culture, LGBTQ history, shoes, and more.

Using the Nearby tool, you can visit places close to you. What a great way to prepare students for a field trip or allow them to cement and expand on their experience after they return.

Looking for art? There are tools which let you search by artist, subject, medium, movement, place, color, and more. Save favorites to your personal collection and create your own galleries.  When looking at the exhibits, zoom in to view them in incredible detail; you can get closer than any museum guard would ever allow. Of course, art teachers will love sharing Van Gogh’s brush strokes with students, while in a math class, learners might analyze the dots of a Seurat painting. There is a wealth of resources for social studies, language arts, science, you name it. In short, no matter your content area, you’re sure to find something to incorporate into your class.

Do you like 360 degree images and videos? Google Arts and Culture has you covered. Watch the Nutcracker ballet in 360 degrees, listen to orchestral performances, or visit museum exhibits and view them from all angles. Google has also partnered with natural history museums around the world, so you can take your students on a virtual tour to explore dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures or visit endangered and exotic animals in their natural habitat.

And let’s not forget about the famous selfie tool. On the mobile app, scroll down and look for “Search with your selfie.” You will find out what famous painting you most resemble. Or at least what famous painting Google’s AI thinks you most resemble. You may or may not agree. In any case, we urge you to visit Google Arts and Culture to take advantage of all it has to offer.

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Nancy Minicozzi

Nancy is the coffee half of the TLC Ninja podcast. She began her career as a technology teacher and is now an instructional technology coach, helping other teachers meaningfully integrate new and shiny things into their classrooms. She loves collaborating with others, her family, coffee, and British comedy (not necessarily in that order).