Thursday, May 3, 2012

Virtual Field Trips

Teachers would love to take their students on meaningful field trips. However, lack of money and time keeps them from doing this. In the past several weeks, I have found through email, blogs, and twitter a couple of electronic or "virtual" field trips that I would like to share with you.

From Colonial Williamsburg (which I wrote about here) has an electronic field trip "The Will of the People". This starts next school year and will be great for election year.

From Scholastic is a story on immigration with a virtual field trip to Ellis Island. There are some great teacher resources to go along with this field trip.

For more information on the field trips below, go to Edutopia.  Also check out the link at the bottom of the page for information on "How to Make the Most of Virtual Field Trips".

BlueZone Quest has virtual field trips for 3 different countries trying to unravel the mystery of why some people live longer in certain parts of the world.

Follow the Husky's as they explore the polar north in GoNorth! There are past field trips that you can view, and you can follow the Husky's as they tweet. This field trip hasn't started yet, so be sure to join to find out when it starts.

There are several different electronic field trips to be found at Windows Into Wonderland. Check this site out to find one that best suites your classroom.

National Geographic has an electronic field trip about Lewis & Clark. This has lots of potential for most every grade level.

Check out the National Museum of Natural History for a virtual dinosaur dig! Students will love this!

Electronic (or virtual) field trips fit very nicely into our TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge) model that we are using. A previous blog post on TPACK can be found here. In the Social Studies Activity Types, there is a section on "Experience a Field Trip". This also ties into the Information and Technology Essential Standards (ITES) of Access and Gather Information. As I scrolled down our Social Studies Activity Types, I also found several other activities that virtual field trips will fit into. For example "Sequence Information" which meets the Organize Information standard for ITES; or,"Discuss" which meets Organize Information and communicate Information. There are a lot more activity types that this electronic field trip will go with also. ITES for K-5 can be found here; 6-8 here; and 9-12 here.

Image: 'Higginsville School Bus'
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