How do you Apply Virtual Field Trips Efficiently?
There are very few places you can’t go in a virtual world. When the COVID-19 epidemic first broke out, this became evident as students from schools all over the world attended virtual classes from the comfort of their homes.
Students can enter new and intriguing worlds and biomes with the same ease that they log into their virtual classrooms. To learn about various cultures and languages, they can travel. Visit museums and art galleries to view the displays. Time travel will allow you to see history from a different perspective. And even directly converse with experts, athletes, artists, and scientists. All of this was accomplished inside the classroom.
What is a Virtual Field Trip?
The term “virtual field trips” refers to educational excursions that take place online on websites or platforms like Zoom and Google. The finest options usually involve live video stream and student engagement with guides, even though some of these activities include pre-recorded tours and movies. Examples of such activities include scrollable deep sea dives and digital treks around The Great Wall of China. Online field trips and digital field trips are other names for these activities.
The Evolution of Virtual Field Trips
In the late 2000s, virtual field trips began to acquire popularity as a developing trend.
Consider rainforest tours, Galapagos explorations, and northern expeditions. Back then, they were praised for their capacity to transport students to locations they couldn’t otherwise visit. Direct instruction from NASA experts or a behind-the-scenes tour of an orchestra are two options for teaching space to students.
They gained more fame thanks to COVID-19. Teachers who had already scheduled field trips had to cancel them at the last minute when schools were compelled to go online. They looked for solutions that adhered to academic and pandemic standards. The locations of field trips also needed to swiftly adapt to brand-new constraints.
We do not anticipate that momentum to slow down any time soon as we go toward a new normal. Virtual field trips are well positioned to serve a generation of students who are engaged with (and by) technology from day one as new types of technology enter the educational environment.
Putting Virtual Field Trips to Use
Field visits that take place in person have a high bar for in-person observation and practical instruction.
They send kids outside of the classroom so they can engage with material that isn’t often available in a classroom setting and learn new things. They enable contacts with new people, excursions to new locations, and explorations of novel concepts.
Field trips are a common educational activity, especially in subjects like biology, geography, language, history, and environmental science that benefit from immersion or in-person interaction.
But with so many possibilities for virtual field trips available to teachers today, they offer a more practical and approachable solution. For instance:
- Students undergo a virtual 3D tour with a trained guide rather than going to a museum. When an exhibit piques their interest, they can stay and ask questions right away, and if they need to refresh their memories, they can return later.
- Students might use aerial drone footage to examine a city or neighborhood instead of going on a walking tour. With on-the-ground, 360-degree photos and sound recordings, they can get closer to the event. At specific stops, explanation or interview videos might help students understand the context and reinforce the sounds and sights around them.
- Students might connect via livestream with a scientist who gives them a tour of the lab and guides them through an analysis of samples provided to the classroom instead of physically visiting a lab for a live presentation in the field.
- Students are also introduced to actual individuals through virtual field trips in real conversations and real settings. Videoconferencing allows mentors, community members, and experts to share their knowledge and experience with students, making it one of the simplest methods for students to interact with and learn from individuals who have “been there and done that.”
The Benefits of Virtual Field Trips
Virtual field trips have demonstrated their appeal from the perspective of a teacher or administrator:
- Organizational Simplicity: When compared to in-person field visits, virtual field trips have a significantly lighter administrative load. fewer restrictions on size. There are no buses, permission paperwork, or parent chaperones.
- Less expensive: In general, virtual field trips are more affordable than physical ones. Instead, they use materials that are typically readily accessible in schools.
- Safety: There is little to no chance of students becoming lost or hurt. No new environmental risks exist, and it’s unlikely that you’ll need any specialized tools to keep students safe.
- Replicability: Although creating your own virtual field trip requires some upfront work, it is simple to adapt it for the lesson plan and curriculum for the next year.
When and how should Virtual Field Trips be used?
The effectiveness of virtual field trips as stand-alone exercises. However, they can also be utilized as a component of a larger educational system:
- Investigation prior to the lesson: Students can digitally tour a location to become familiar with its main attractions, for instance.
- During the lesson, immersion: Students can use fresh ideas and abilities to complete tasks set for the virtual field trip.
- After-lesson reflection: Students can go back and review the experience to learn more or to reinforce lessons they had learned.
Teachers can give maps, worksheets, movies, quizzes, and online activities in addition to the virtual field trip itself to help reinforce and assess student learning.
By searching out subject matter experts and locating resources that align with their curricula and standards, some instructors and institutions prefer to create their own virtual field trips. Some people favor using pre-built ones that were created to relieve teachers of organizing duties. Numerous galleries, parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, and other attractions provide their own virtual tours.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Field Trips
What occurs following a field trip?
Talk about the things they liked and disliked. Assuming the role of an art, theater, or travel critic, have students write a piece for a newspaper or blog. List the lessons they took away from the experience. Prepare a list of topics students want to learn more about.
What are examples of field trips?
An excursion by students and a teacher to view or study something, such as a museum, factory, or historical place, is known as a field trip.
Are virtual field trips good or bad?
The use of virtual field trips is revolutionary. Virtual field trips not only substitute for actual ones when financial constraints and other hindrances preclude in-person possibilities, but they also provide access to educational opportunities across the nation and the globe, in both the past and the present. There is no need for permission forms or fundraisers!
How can virtual field trips be used?
Internet access, a webcam so the presenter can see the audience, and a mechanism to project an image onto a whiteboard are requirements for educators and their students to take part in virtual field trips. The field trip material suppliers may be in a different time zone, therefore educators must also have a good microphone.
It’s crucial to think about how a virtual field trip fits into your curriculum just like you would with any educational activity. What criteria does it adhere to? What should the learning objectives look like or how should it be incorporated into the lesson plan for the day? However, due to their low entry hurdles and the variety of opportunities they present to both students and their schools, they are well-positioned to become a crucial (and beloved) component of a strong virtual or hybrid learning approach.
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