BELTON, Texas — Belton High School students are going beyond the textbook by using virtual reality to learn history.
They have one of four holocaust classes in the state of Texas and their way of learning about it is pretty unique.
Students can tour concentration camps without ever leaving the classroom.
Rebecca Kidder, the social studies teacher at Belton High School said having access to technology has really helped her classroom.
"It's just invaluable because I can't fly them all over the world, but I can bring those experiences to them with virtual reality," Kidder said.
The Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation, BEEF, awarded 20 grants to nine campuses and Belton High School was one of them.
David Orsag, the Vice President at BEEF said Kidder's social studies class was awarded $2,300 for the technology.
"Everyone is using technology and if you can use technology to help students understand the importance of an event or a historical situation, that can be helpful in their future," Orsag said.
With the grant money, the school bought iPods to fit inside the Nearpod Virtual Reality Headsets for students like Vanesa Gonzalez, a sophomore at Belton High School.
"It makes me feel very thankful because I know some kids probably don't get this opportunity," Gonzalez said.
For many students like senior Tessa Stoneburner, this was their first time using virtual reality in a classroom.
"When you can see it and hear about it, it becomes a lot more real rather than just reading a textbook," Stoneburner said.
Other students like Brandon Ryman, a sophomore at Belton HS, said they still like using textbooks, but this is more of an interactive way of learning that not many students get to experience.
"It makes me feel kind of privileged that I get to see these things first-hand without having to go out a certain way and having to spend all this money, but I can just sit right here in school and see what people had to go through day to day," Ryman said.
Kidder said she will continue to implement the virtual reality headsets during her lessons in her social studies class.
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