Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Free Field Trip Guides in Your Pocket

Google released Field Trip, a free app for Android smartphones, about one month ago. It periodically serves up alerts based on your current location. The alerts are gathered from a slew of online sources that range from The Historical Marker Database to concert site Songkick to the Google Offers deal service. You can determine how and how often Field Trip pings you with information, and what kinds of data you’re served.

augmented reality app

The new Google FieldTrip app probes the question: What digital information do you want to see overlaid on the physical world? It might remind you about Google Glass. Selected to be one of “Best Inventions of the Year 2012″ by TIME, “Google Glass” is fulfilling that technology should work for humanity. This is a vision of how Glass might be used in a video they released earlier this year to pretty much universal interest. And, How Google Glasses Will Change Our Education is thought provoking.

According to its description on Google Play:

Field Trip is your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you. Field Trip runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it pops up a card with details about the location. No click is required. If you have a headset or bluetooth connected, it can even read the info to you.

Field Trip can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun. You select the local feeds you like and the information pops up on your phone automatically, as you walk next to those places.

The hyperlocal history experts of Arcadia will unveil local lore in places you never expected. Trend-setting publications like Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat, and Eater will point out the best places to eat and drink. Experts at Sunset, Cool Hunting, WeHeart, Inhabitat, and Remodelista will guide you to the latest unique stores and products. Atlas Obscura and Daily Secret help you uncover hidden gems no matter where you are. Songkick and Flavorpill guide you to local music.

Moreover, Google’s Field Trip now has an iOS competitor: Wanderous, which shows you highlights of what’s near, what’s interesting, and what you should explore. But where Field Trip pops up information as you go, Wanderous is more like a treasure map for a route you’ve already selected. Wanderous has its own database of interesting places in addition to the main attractions that you’ll likely find in any travel app. It also tracks where you go.

Is this a step toward learning anytime and anywhere? Human beings invent tools, and tools will change human society. On one hand, the virtual world from computing technology is simulating our real world; on the other hand, the augmented reality technology is adding more layers of digital information onto our physical world. Not only sight-seeing information or historic facts can be integrated, but also deeper problems like environmental or society issues are possible.

We think there are a lot of potential learning moments can be created in the daily life. When there are more databases or user generated data available, we could have education on-demand which only need your inquiry questions to start with. Combined with other Apps to construct contents and connect with other people, learning could be embed into our life seamlessly.

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3 Responses »

  1. About “Google Now” : Introduced this past June with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” it’s designed to ambiently give you information you might need before you ask for it. To pull off that ambitious goal, Google takes advantage of multiple parts of the company: comprehensive search results, robust speech recognition, and most of all Google’s surprisingly deep understanding of who you are and what you want to know.


  1. Free Field Trip Guides in Your Pocket | Recursos Online |
  2. Google’s Mobile Future Is Now | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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