Road Trip to the Next Exit!

Photo Credit: Next Exit History App

Photo Credit: Next Exit History App

About four years ago, Apple launched the iTunes App Store and a little word that never existed in the Dictionary is something you now hear people of many generations saying…“there’s an app for that.”

If your family is like mine, your children are using the iPad (or a similar tablet) more and more each day. My now 5-year-old son was about 3 years old when he first picked up the iPad; it amazed me how he could not read, but could figure out how to play. I am always looking for fun apps that help my children learn without them realizing that they are learning. If you are like me, you are going to love this new app!

Photo Credit: Next Exit History App

The Next Exit History app is a project by the University of West Florida to discover more than 35,000 (and growing) historical sites in the United States. This is a one-of-a-kind experience for historians of all ages. The app is educational and entertaining. I follow their Twitter account, @NextExitHistory and have been reading about the Site of the Day, viewing the pictures, and sharing the information with my boys (who ask about it daily). This is our gateway to learn and understand the historical landscapes of America. I also signed up for a free account at, where I can share historical places in my “backpack.”

Photo Credit: Next Exit History App

As a teacher, and as a mom, I find all kinds of opportunities for teachable moments. Whether I’m the one teaching or being taught, each moment is full of learning.

This summer we are going to take some “road trips.” Even if it is just 30 minutes up the highway, we are going! We are taking our iPad with the Next Exit History app, a writing journal, a picnic basket, our ear buds or speakers, and a camera.

Follow their Facebook page to read and see the Site of the Day or look them up on Twitter: @NextExitHistory.

Happy history!

Michelle Licata, FLVS 2013 Teacher of the Year, is a National Board Certified Teacher. She chose to teach social studies because she enjoys exploring past and present “real life” issues that really matter to her students.

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