Modesto Students Travel the World — Virtually — Inside Classroom

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MODESTO — Many teachers view technology as a distraction in the classroom, but Chris Guptill.

Imagine traveling around the world without ever leaving your high school classroom. That’s exactly what the students in Guptill’s AP human geography at Grace M. Davis High School are doing and we got a first-hand look at the virtual reality technology they’re using.

“We fought for a long time, ‘Put your phone away. Put your earbuds away,'” Guptill said. “They’re required to have earbuds with them because a lot of the things we do are based on them going and watching video and seeing things and hearing things.”

Guptill’s students use a program called Nearpod to explore different cities and sights around the world.

“These 360-degree kind of interactive field trips where you can go and see a place and you can get an idea of what that place is like from anywhere on your computer,” Guptill said.

Since he started using the program, Guptill says he has noticed his students seem more engaged.

“It makes the content of the textbook just that much more interesting and more engaging because you already have real-world examples that you’ve seen and visualized,” freshman Keara Allen said.

Guptill has also used Nearpod to take his students on 20 virtual college tours.

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