Share: The most important step is sharing what you’ve learned! Teachers that use virtual field trips regularly ask students to create artifacts that represent their learning. In addition to a written reflection, consider visual projects like photo journals, digital stories, and blog posts. As you bring more virtual field trips into your classroom, students can compare them and identify which they like the best. Parents, administrators and your community will love seeing the places you’ve visited and will begin to follow along on your journey. Consider sharing your participation via your classroom newsletter or website, and also let the organization conducting the VFT know how you participated. They will appreciate the feedback, and may offer additional opportunities to recognize your classroom.
If the idea of participating in VFTs is new to you, don’t be overwhelmed. Take small steps such as watching one of these events on your own. Some teachers use virtual field trips as an activator into a unit. They don’t replace the need-to-see content, but rather provide a foundational experience to ask questions and prepare for the unit of study.
Here are five of the best trips to consider:
- White House it’s an election year!
“Inside the White House” is a good idea for older elementary and middle school students learning about government, as well as any civics or American history class. Students can watch videos or take an interactive tour through the West Wing, the South Lawn, the East Wing, and the Residence. There is also a slide show of the presidents and other historical information.
- Mt. Everest and no one will need oxygen!
From recent panoramas and photo galleries, to travel logs and fun facts, students can make their very own virtual climb of Mt. Everest.
- Hershey’s Factory who doesn’t like chocolate!
Sometimes students just want to explore something cool, like chocolate. Thanks to step-by-step videos on its chocolate-making process, Hershey’s gives students a fun virtual field trip … even if it’s minus the smell and taste of chocolate!
- Panoramas of the world and no freaking security lines!
View high-definition panoramas from anywhere in the world, including snowy mountain tops and deep sea coral reefs, at 360 Cities, which contains one of the internet’s largest collection of uploaded panoramic images. Students can access to navigable views of cities, natural landscapes and much more. The site also offers tools for people to create their own panoramas. For more specific panoramas, check out the Seven Wonders of the World. This website has panoramic views of all Seven Wonders of the World, which include the Colosseum in Rome, The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, The Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru Christ Redeemer in Rio, and Chichén Itzá in Mexico.
Check out these related articles:
Ten of the best virtual field trips
How Google’s virtual field trips really look inside the classroom