Take your kids on a virtual field trip—right now

Try this augmented reality experience with your smartphone and bring to life some of Smithsonian’s museums and galleries.

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Many of the nation’s schools have reopened this fall, but their daily activities have undoubtedly altered. Rather than relying solely on face-to-face classroom lessons, many schools now utilize virtual solutions that allow children to remain at a safe distance while learning remotely. It’s not just our schools that must lean on technology to usher in new ways of educating our kids; parents also need to become savvy digital teachers in the age of COVID.

The pandemic poses an opportunity for parents and schools to connect with students in novel ways. Technologists and designers are hard at work creating tools that provide children with immersive learning experiences. It’s not hard to find a parent who will tell you that a child attending class through video conferencing does not hold the attention of the student or classmates for very long.

But what if we give students information in new forms using technology that can create a more engaging experience?

Putting tech to work

Virtual reality (VR) has proven itself as an effective learning tool because immersive experiences can increase memory, learning and spatial mapping. Augmented reality (AR) blends the real and virtual worlds together, bringing some of those benefits along with it. AR allows the user to place objects in a room with the use of a camera and a smartphone. It can also allow you to manipulate virtual objects and see various angles in 3D.

Try it now by scanning this QR code with your smartphone camera:

How it all works

Verizon’s 5G Labs utilized the Smithsonian Open Access Initiative’s library collection to aid parents, students and teachers looking for new and engaging educational content. This effort brings a virtual field trip to the comfort of your home. You can now point your phone or tablet at a QR code, then watch the museum artifact come to life virtually. Imagine learning all about how the woolly mammoth became extinct while walking around its 3D skeleton.

The AR content, accompanied by narrated audio, brings to life artifacts housed across Smithsonian’s network of museums and galleries. This means that even though access to enter museums is currently off limits, learning from the Smithsonian’s exhibits is still limitless through this technology.

Verizon 5G Labs AR Experiences Include:

It’s important for parents and teachers to explore every avenue of education during this time where learning-at-home becomes the new normal. By bringing technology and educational content together in new ways, we’re working to make it easier for you to help your child learn.

Verizon pledges to provide 10 million youths with digital skills training and 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030. Learn more about our new responsible business plan to drive economic, environmental and social advancement with Citizen Verizon.

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