Common Sense Review
Updated September 2013

Field Trip

With a few tweaks, nifty augmented reality app can be classroom-ready
Common Sense Rating 3
Pros
Impressive resources include historical markers and texts.
Cons
There's no search function to easily explore other areas.
Bottom Line
Field Trip isn't as searchable as Google Earth, but it's a strong local resource.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Kids will enjoy learning about locations near and far as well as using the map to find field-trip-worthy spots across the U.S. and Europe.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

History comes to life as kids explore geographical locations. The amount of information available from this easy-to-use resource engages kids and extends learning through articles and links.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Navigation is intuitive, and users are guided through the setup process step by step. You can save favorite locations if you're logged in to a Google account.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Though not designed with classroom use in mind, Field Trip is one of those tools that a creative teacher can use in many ways. Kids can explore local history and culture in social studies. With some assistance in scrolling to the right location, kids can explore other parts of the United States and Europe, as well, on a virtual field trip. Kids can read nonfiction texts in language arts or examine voice and purpose by reading the different sources available as a writing exercise. Teachers can find images or articles for places or events to share with the entire class. Even if not using in class, teachers can offer the free app as a suggestion for parents to use before winter or summer break travels.

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What's It Like?

Using GPS location data, Field Trip runs in the background on your phone (or device). When you're near an interesting place, a card pops up with more information about the place -- from restaurants and bars to historical markers and museums. Users can log in with their Google account and save favorites. They can also share spots via email or social media. You can actively search using the map to find field trip spots. Or, the app can run in the background on the phone as you travel, with cards popping up when you're near featured spots. You can configure your settings so that the cards are read aloud, too, as the locations are encountered. Users can customize their interests within Architecture; Historic Places & Events; Lifestyle; Offers & Deals; Food, Drinks & Fun; Cool & Unique; and Arts & Museums. Each category pulls content from several sources (which you can customize). For example, in Historic Places & Events, content comes from more than 25 different sources including Historvius, The Historical Marker Database, Archaelogical Institute of America, and Arcadia Publishing. The cards are short descriptions but include links to more in-depth information.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Before using Field Trip with kids in school, you may want to deselect some of the sources that may be irrelevant or distracting, or that include inappropriate language (perhaps the Lifestyle; Offers & Deals; and Food, Drinks, & Fun sections in entirety, and some of the sources within the Cool & Unique section). That leaves Architecture, Historic Places & Events, and Arts & Museums for kids to explore. Field Trip then serves as a tour guide, showing kids around the area and sharing interesting stories and bits of information. With the links included on the cards, kids can find answers to questions they may have, as well. Since kids are directing their learning and exploring hands-on, they are more likely to be engaged and remember what they learn. Kids can also explore other places (not in their immediate location) by scrolling through the map and zooming in, but at the time of this review, there's no zip code or address search option.

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