Friday, July 22, 2011

Redefining Virtual Field Trips

I watched an online seminar yesterday on Virtual Field Trips that made me rethink an earlier post that was written on our blog may need a refresher.

So what is a Virtual Field Trip? In my reading I came up with this definition as to how I see it from my standpoint. It is a series of webpages that have been organized and grouped together to show students information, places, things that they may not have been able to experience on their own. Ok, we have a quasi definition of a Virtual Field Trip what is next, how do we get started, what is the first step to create one for my students.

Obviously there are some technology items that you will need to start with. A computer/laptop and an Internet connection. You could also have a digital projector and an Interactive White Board (IWB) but they are not necessary.

What do you do to get started now that you want to create a Virtual Field Trip. You have to figure out and decide what you are looking for first. Once you have that down you are ready to get all your ducks in a row.

  • Make sure that you have everything all planned out. You have to do the research prior to the lesson and have all other resources ready to go.
  • Make sure that you have reviewed all necessary video materials for questionable content
  • Go through the trip first without your students so you know that the web links are still active.
  • Have students work together to create their own field trips similar to the one they have just been on.
  • Have a purpose and focus the students on that goal during the field trip
One additional thing that you can do to make the Virtual Field Trip more personal to the students is if you have an IWB in your classroom. Students can come up and interact with the screen and direct the flow of the field trip themselves. This can be a really nice for some of the lower grades since the student could almost feel like they are in the field trip walking around and exploring.

Again you may be saying how will this affect me in my instructional day? As a teacher creating a Virtual Field Trip could factor into the new evaluation tool for Standard IV for integrating and utilizing technology in instruction. It can also encompass the new Common Core standards for using technology tools and skills to reinforce classroom concepts and activities. As well as using technology and other resources for the purpose of assessing, organizing, and sharing of information

Give it a try and see what you think, you never know your students may just like the new you are integrating technology into their daily lessons.

No comments: