Tech Tip Tuesday: Two Cool Ways to Escape the Classroom (Without Leaving)

Today’s guest blogger is Lauren Taylor, family and consumer science teacher and Tech Innovator at Downingtown High School West.

by Lauren Taylor

As a child, I thought field trips were the bee’s knees! Growing up right outside of Philly, we took trip into town to see the Liberty Bell what felt like every week. As a teacher, I can now see the logistics of an adventure outside of the classroom for the stressful, expensive, paperwork-filled reality it is. By the way, shout out to Mrs. Hickey, my first grade teacher, for that trip to The Franklin Institute. I hope you went to the spa afterward!

If the thought of a field trip sends you on your own excursion to the Guidance Office, fear NOT! There are ways to give your students the experience of sightseeing without one single permission slip!

  1. Google Expeditions. This option takes a bit of financing, but the end result is very cool. You can purchase cardboard viewfinders (Google Cardboard) that fit a smartphone inside to create immersive experiences, right in your classroom. While at ISTE2015 this past summer, I had the opportunity to sit in for a demo and I was very impressed. The instructor/teacher has the ability to take the whole class on a guided tour using a “master” device. You have the freedom to create a trip as specific or as “loose” as you need. Check out the links below for a demo video and more information. You can also contact Google about piloting Expedition by following the first link, then click “Learn More.”

https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/  

https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/get-cardboard/

https://youtu.be/mlYJdZeA9w4

  1. Maps app>  3D Flyover feature. If you are unable to get your hands on Google cardboard or that many Smartphones, you can still see other parts of the world in 3D in your classroom. If you have an Ipad, the Maps app is automatically loaded onto it. When used with airplay/projector, the Maps app has the ability to take you and your students on a tour of many popular spot on planet Earth. Open the Maps app and enter one of the flyover cities (listed in the link below); you should see the option to see the city in 3D flyover mode. Hit start and enjoy the ride!!

Below is a link that will show you the list of places where Flyover is available.

http://flyovercities.com/

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