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Georgia College team creates virtual reality 'field trips' for students

Professor Chris Greer and Graduate Assistant Hannah Jones help K-12 students use virtual reality to learn more about Georgia's historical destinations.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — One Georgia College and State University duo is helping Kindergarten through 12th grade students experience Georgia's history through virtual reality.

Inside the Old Governor's Mansion on Georgia College's campus you'll see what it was like to live in the 19th century, but look through Professor Chris Greer's virtual reality goggles, and you'll feel like you're in another world.

"Virtual reality is essentially video or CGI that's created in a way that it can be delivered to head sets, and the user of the headset feels like they've been whisked away to another place," Greer said.

He teamed up with Graduate Assistant Hannah Jones to create a YouTube channel called Virtual Reality Georgia. It gives students a 3D "field trip" experience to Georgia's historical tourist destinations.

"A lot of these students, a lot of these teachers would never have a chance to travel to these locations and learn from the experts there, so what we want to do is bring the experts into the classroom," Greer said.

"It's an awesome resource, cause you don't have to have super special technology, you just have to have internet access," Jones said.

They traveled across Georgia for a year and half shooting and editing footage.

"We go to museums, we go to state parks, we went to Cumberland Island, and we talked to a historian, to a park ranger, to an interpretive specialist, and they share what they know," Greer said.

It's also easy for students to use on a laptop, iPad, or phone.

"If we're talking about a school in Macon or Atlanta that just couldn't make it to Cumberland Island, this is a way to bring Cumberland Island into the classroom in as immersive of a way as possible," Greer said.

Greer received a $3,000 grant through Georgia College to pay for the virtual reality equipment.

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