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Virtual Field Trip Tips
Virtual Field Trip Tips
Relate the trip directly to curriculum to maximize impact and learning. Consider the purpose of the trip. Ask yourself “What do I want my students to learn from this experience?”
Provide pre and post field trip activities just as you would with a “real” field trip.
Involve as many senses as possible. Virtual field trips that are realistic and authentic can provide experiences as rich, or even richer than an actual trip to the same location.
Call on local businesses to lend a hand with your field trip. If you’re doing a VFT to space, ask a local astronomer or physicist to be a guest speaker. If you’re trip involves learning about the body, schedule a local physician or nurse to participate. Through webcams and video conferencing, even a guest speaker can be provided virtually!
Make your VFT interactive. Give students choices along the trip. Let them decide specific areas or topics to visit.
As you are developing your trip, periodically take the VFT yourself. Look at it from a student’s perspective. Does it make sense? Is it logical? Can you follow along with it easily? Is learning occurring?
Keep your audience in mind. A VFT for kindergarten should not be as long or in-depth as a VFT for older children. Younger students will need more interactive and/or pictorial guidance. Older students usually prefer more choices and freedom to move about the tour independently and self-paced.
To save time, partner with other teachers to create VFTs in multiple areas, then share your work. Build a school collection of VFTs.
Involve your students in the creation of the VFT. Or, let older students create simple VFTs for younger students. Have your students make a VFT about your community or school, then share with another school.
Extend the lesson by having students create a product based on their trip. Products could be diaries, journals, presentations, and multimedia projects to name a few.
Prepare the students for the trip ahead of time, just as you would a real field trip. Plan follow up activities or discussions too.
Don’t allow students to roam the internet freely. Students should know the objective(s) of the VFT. Give clear directions for the sites the students are to visit.
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