There are a few Golden Ticket days at school that no student is willing to miss. These include; pizza being served in the cafeteria, a magician or local theater group coming to put on a show, or a pep rally ending the day early. However, the Holy Grail of all school days is the field trip! So as a virtual instructor, how do I bring the wonder of a field trip to my students? The answer is simple: a virtual field trip! And in a way, it has its advantages over the traditional class field trip.
Virtual field trips work within budgets.
The Internet is full of virtual tours that are free for educators, students, or just the curious want-to-be traveler who can’t seem to make it past their own backyard. And with ever changing classroom budgets, virtual field trips are a cost-effective way to allow students to explore outside the classroom walls. These tours have the benefit of being taken right from home, a computer lab, or anywhere you have Internet access. You can forget about the hassle of scheduling a bus, travel time, packing a lunch, or collecting permission slips and money. And the best part is, distance is not a problem.
Virtual tours are a click away.
A great list of virtual tours can be found in “100 Incredible & Educational Virtual Tours You Don’t Want to Miss.” These tours include historical cities, landmarks, museums, government buildings, factories (to learn how things are made), and even outer space! Not only do you get to see the layout of each place, but the tours include interactive learning opportunities, and all of those interesting facts that would be included in an on-site tour.
For example, the virtual tour of the Taj Mahal allows you to click on different parts of the mausoleum, as well as the gardens and surrounding areas, to get a closer view. Once a certain location is selected, options are presented to learn more about different subjects including; the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal, preservation of the historical structure, the minaret, the muezzin, and many other topics.
Take your students around the world.
Access to the Internet creates endless virtual possibilities when it comes to exploring the world. So when you feel that itch to explore, jump online and see the world. And don’t hesitate to open that world to your students and encourage their curiosity and need to explore.
If you have any questions or virtual field trip suggestions, post them below!