High-tech tool helps teachers take students on virtual field trips

Posted at 10:01 PM, Dec 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 00:01:39-05

SALT LAKE CITY – Learning became a little more fun for some students at Highland Park Elementary School in Salt Lake City after a 3D gadget arrived at their classroom.

“To experience it was unbelievable, but to watch the kids experience it was even better,” said Lt. Gov Spencer Cox. “Just, they were mesmerized at the opportunity to see places they’ve never seen before.”

The Lieutenant Governor experienced a high-tech, globe-trotting field trip with a group of Utah school kids.

“We went to like the ocean, to volcanoes, and to the, where the Civil War was fought,” one student said.

They did all of that in one day and without leaving their classroom. Google Expedition uses some funny-looking cardboard viewers that hold smartphones, and the combination turns a lesson into a three-dimensional world tour.

“It was very fun, and it gave me a chance to see places that I probably am never going to see in real.... through my lifetime,” student Santos Caden Marquez said.

The kids wandered the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and their teachers shared information about one of the pivotal moments in American history

Tonya Phillips says it's a powerful tool for teaching her sixth graders.

“I’m really excited about it, it’s like bringing a virtual reality into the classroom, and so it gives them more of a three-dimensional experience to whatever we are studying,” Phillips said. “So it makes come alive, it’s very, very interesting.”

“If it was just textbooks and teachers, I would've probably gone to sleep," Santos Caden Marquez said. "But if it weren’t for that, it would've been boring reading about it, that made it a lot more fun."