Enhancements for White House Experience App
In June 2020, the White House Historical Association was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The grant enabled WHHA to expand and improve the White House Experience mobile app, addressing accessibility issues and enhancing the use of the app as a distance learning tool. WHHA was one of 317 cultural heritage institutions nationwide to receive funding.
The White House Experience app now features additional features and functions, which will enable virtual visits to the White House, enhance the in-person visitor experience, and provide teaching tools for K-12 educators.
- Audio and Multi-Language Tours: To increase audience accessibility, the White House Experience app now includes multilingual and audio versions of its core White House tours. Providing this access follows the recommendations of the White House Visitor Center and United States Secret Service, who interact daily with White House visitors. French, simplified Chinese, and Spanish, the most frequently requested foreign languages, are now available.
- Improvements to Web-Based Version of the WHE App: Among the most frequent suggestions from teachers is the need for an improved browser-based version of the app to use in classrooms. The addition of a browser-version of the app will address digital gaps in access for teachers and will increase usability for older populations who may have difficulty viewing text or images on smaller screens. Access the browser-based version.
Improved Content Through Immersive Distance Learning
- Enhanced Virtual Tour of the White House with 360 Photography, Integrated Maps, and Video: The White House Experience app now features 360-degree photography with integrated maps to create a fully immersive virtual tour, allowing users to guide and orient themselves through the two floors of public rooms at the White House. This component enables a true virtual visit to the White House, in which users can examine paintings, objects, and details previously inaccessible. Take the 360-degree tour on our website.
- Educational Videos. The app includes a series of short videos featuring WHHA historians, providing supplemental content about the history of the public rooms on a White House tour. Each video is approximately two minutes in length and was created for both virtual or in-person classroom instruction. The videos will also assist visitors to the White House, who are often curious about the historical detail of public rooms on the tour. View the videos on our website.
- Specialized Tours: To enhance distance learning opportunities, the app now includes more specialized history tours, adapted from articles previously published in White House History Quarterly. These specialty tours will be made available throughout 2021 and early 2022.
WHHA acknowledges the National Endowment for the Humanities for their generous support. Cuseum, Long Story Short Media, Bruce White Photography, and the Office of the Curator and Office of the Chief Usher at the White House assisted with the successful completion of these improvements.
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