I am a special education teacher with a classroom of 4-6th graders. I have students that are all on free lunch, many with single parents, parents on disability, working two or more jobs each, and many of them have never had the opportunity to leave town, let alone our state or country. I am always seeking out new technology to bring the United States and the world to the classroom. I love to share new tech with my district as a technology coach and my global Personal Learning Network through my Professional Development events. I am fortunate to have the support of technology companies adding multiple VR devices and software to my classroom.
During my technology expeditions a year and a half ago, I found a brilliant website called HistoryView.org and have been in techno-love every since! HistoryView provides my classroom with a unique opportunity that I don’t get with most virtual field trip programs. Throughout the school year, HistoryView allows my students, on the many types of devices, to take field trips through museums and landmarks that are not available to them and that they, more than likely, will never get to visit in their academic lives (or in future for that matter).
These trips have been invaluable learning experiences for them. I use the program to take field trips in 360 on Chromebooks and students are able to walk through the civil rights exhibit at the Henry Ford’s Museum. We were close enough to read the plaques in the museum, giving students an in-depth tour and learn everything… on a web 360 picture… which is unheard of!!! I am able to utilize our VR devices to have students walk through the Rosa Parks bus and be immersed in the historical significance that sparked the civil rights movement. Being able to lead this lesson in VR is a huge moment in my teaching career because so many of my students connect with the struggle for human rights because we are located in an area that is impoverished and still sees human rights suppression. I owe this moment to the powerful teaching tool, HistoryView, and I love the fact that they bring the site to myself, and to the many other very interested teachers I speak to worldwide, FOR FREE!
HistoryView also has hot spots with website information, videos guiding through historical heritage sites, and interactive elements that keep my students very engaged and excited. Students ask me almost every day if we could take another field trip! I am always so excited to do another one, that I would say yes, but would realize I have to limit trips to my state curriculum.
HistoryView has so many experiences and I want to see many more, so I am working on a list of sites I want them to go to. They have told me and other teachers they go out to other sites and have responded to our inquiries! I will continue to use and recommend HistoryView.org to the thousands of educators I meet throughout my Professional Development events every year, that is how big of an impact HistoryView has had on my school year. Thank you HistoryView!