A new smartphone app for IOS and android devices called the WWI Virtual Explorer App allows users to take a field trip to the National WWI Memorial being built in Washington DC.
Developed by the Doughboy Foundation under an education grant from Walmart, the app places a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial anywhere including backyards, driveways, living rooms, and more.
The virtual memorial is filled with WWI explorations and discoveries including video game style 3D stories and more than 50 videos integrated into the 3D space. Together they present various aspects of WWI, the war that changed the world. Although WWI is not a major focus in American education today, it had a deep and lasting impact on nearly every aspect of American society and culture.
The app’s “How WWI Changed America” theater offers dozens of short videos in nine categories including how the war affected women, immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans, citizenship, finance, international standing, and prophetically, the Pandemic 100 years ago. Prominent WWI historians, archival footage, period photos and newspaper headlines provide short focused insights.
America’s military experience of WWI is also explored from a variety of angles. This was arguably the single most transformative period in American and global military history, ushering in the modern era of warfare with its machinery of mass destruction and previously unimagined devastating forces.
While the National WWI Memorial is still under construction, the app allows users to drop in on the construction site. Users can watch a time lapse video of the construction, or select any date and time of day in the past to explore a high-resolution image of the construction activity at that time.
The app is available at both the Google Play and the Apple Store. It is free and there are no in-game purchases required.