As an 8th grade American History teacher I am fortunate to take my students on two field trips. In the fall the entire 8th grade goes to Philadelphia and in the Spring our team goes to Gettysburg. Both trips are designed for students to "walk in the footsteps of history".
In Philadelphia the students tour the National Constitution Center to get a wonderful overview of the workings and history of our government, and then spend the remainder of the day in small groups visiting group selected historic sites in Olde City Philadelphia. The self guided tour is popular with the students because they have a say into which historic sites they visit and they can schedule some time at Starbucks. There is nothing like visiting the self proclaimed "most historic square mile" in our nation with students as they are learning about the foundations of our nation. This trip really brings the classroom to life!
When we visit Gettysburg, the students get to walk the same fields where thousands of Americans fought and died for what they believed America should represent. A lot can be learned about the Civil War in a regular classroom setting, but students will never get a true appreciation of the devastation of the Civil War without walking in the final footsteps where so many Americans walked in 1863. The connections from the field trip form a frame around which students can paint their own understanding and significance of the Civil War as they apply their field trip experience to what they learn in class.
So, how can technology enhance traditional field trip experiences? I am not thinking about virtual field trips. Virtual field trips are fine in their own way, but they do not enhance an actual trip. I have some ideas, but I would love to hear how others would use technology to enhance field trip experiences.
To get the ideas flowing view the following TEDTalk by Blaise Aguera y Arcas as he demonstrates augmented reality: