Virtual field trips now available on Google’s ‘Connected Classrooms’ platform
Microsoft has connected teachers with virtual field trips for quite some time through its free “Skype in the classroom” service. Now, the company’s chief rival in the productivity software market is pushing virtual field trip experiences as well.
In an effort to boost teacher collaboration and cultivate digital skills in students, Google+ on Nov. 4 launched Connected Classrooms, a program that connects K-12 teachers with virtual field trip resources and best practices.
Virtual field trips have always been available on Google+, but the Google+ Education Partnership Team sees Connected Classrooms as a more formal way for teachers to locate virtual field trips and connect with other educators in a thriving community.
“This is really just the beginning of where we see Connected Classrooms going,” said Lisa Jiang, Google+ Education Partnerships Lead. “We see this as an opportunity to not just attend a virtual field trip, but for teachers to become more proactive in using digital tools to help equip their students with the skills they need for digital citizenship.”
Virtual field trip providers connect directly with educators through Connected Classrooms to gauge interest in various virtual field trips, coordinate schedules, and more. Virtual field trips will be streamed through Google Hangouts and then recorded and made available on the organization’s YouTube channel.
Teachers can search by month to find upcoming virtual field trips, and more than 20 organizations—including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and National Geographic Education—have partnered with Connected Classrooms.