"Slave Poet VR - George Moses Horton"
This virtual reality app allows students to experience the life of George Moses Horton, the first published African American poet in the Antebellum South. Horton was a slave on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, making this VR app especially powerful for teaching North Carolina history. Students can not only experience the life and poetry of Horton, but understand how life was at the University during the Civil War Era. Using "Slave Poet VR," teachers can have students use this app to compare the exceptional life of Horton to the average slave at the time to understand the limitations black slaves usually faced in society. This app is free, but does require the use of a Google Cardboard device.
Timelooper: New York, Ellis Island
Timelooper is a fantastic virtual reality app that provides realities from a number of places around the world and various time periods throughout history. For a U.S. history class, the Ellis Island option would be great for a lesson on immigration in the United States during the late-19th and early 20th centuries. This reality features different episodes in which students experience immigrating to the U.S. through Ellis Island from the perspective of a young European girl, helping students understand the excitement and anticipation of immigrants during this time. Students can work individually or in groups with a handout of guiding questions on third wave immigration (where were immigrants coming from, what kinds of immigrants were turned away, how did native citizens react to the large wave of immigrants? etc.). The Timelooper app is free, with in-app purchases costing between $3.99-6.99, and requires Google Cardboard.