How to Create a Virtual Field Trip

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  • 1. NNCSS April 4, 2009 How to Create a Virtual Field Trip

2. Why take a field trip?

  • Field trips expand children's learning through active hands-on experience with the rich resources of the local community.
  • Field trips increase student knowledge and understanding of a subject and add realism to the topic of study. The more teachers can apply real world activities and scenarios to what students are learning in the classroom, the better off our students will be!

3. Another Option

  • Field Trips seem to stop after elementary school, and with current budget situations, they are nearly non-existent.
  • What could be a remedy to such obstacles? Virtual Field Trips!

4. What is a virtual field trip?

  • More than just a glorified PowerPoint presentation
  • A guided exploration through technology that uses a variety of resources web, photos, PowerPoint, music, etc.

5. Where to begin?

  • Like any lesson, consider who are your students and what you want them to learn.
  • What are your objectives and what are you learning about? Civil War, gold rush, Nevada, branches of the US government, etc.?

6. General Guidelines Have a Goal

  • Angie Haynes, media specialist at Altamaha Elementary School in Baxley, Georgia. "I have found some really great tours that don't just take the students through some pictures but also have them searching for particular information and learning in-depth, specific things about their topic." In other words, she says, make sure the trip explores an idea, not just a place.
  • Use a virtual field trip to ready students for a real visit to a similar locale.

7. GG Keep it Short

  • Keep the students interest by quitting while you are ahead.
  • Dan Buettner, founder of the virtual field tripBlue Zones , points out that teachers are under increasing pressure to teach to testing standards, which doesn't leave much time for extras.
  • Buettners basic lesson plans can be accomplished in ten minutes a day. "The only way you make these successful is if you figure out how you can do them very quickly or after school," he says.

8. GG Continue the Lesson Offline

  • Have students keep a travel journal of the places they visit via virtual trips.
  • Supplement their virtual trips by bringing in food, music, or clothing from the cultures they're exploring.
  • "It still comes down to pedagogy -- how it's going to be utilized within the classroom, says Aaron Doering, Arctic research project GoNorth!.

9. GG Student Developed VFTs

  • After presenting a few teacher-directed virtual field trips, have students create their own
    • Research project
    • Required presentation on a given topic
    • To supplement text covered in class

10. Some examples