Introduction to Electronic Field Trips
With the COVID-19 restrictions, actual field trips are not going to happen anytime soon.
Here is an introduction to electronic field trips and a quick sampler of the wide range of electronic field trips available from your web browser.
Click the Field Trips link below to see more.
Electronic field trips provide opportunities and experiences that are similar to those of traditional field trips: exposure to "real" people and events, a compelling context for required school subjects, and the opportunity to make connections. The electronic field trip can provide the kinds of situations and tools that enhance follow-up activities.
Electronic field trips address some educational issues while raising others; the issues raised in the context of the electronic field trip should be considered challenges that teachers and students can face together.
The author of this post looked at the wide variety of electronic or virtual field trips (VFT's) available on the Internet and came up with some pro's and con's of VFT's:
- No worries about bad weather, transportation, ... or COVID-19 distancing.
- Can simultaneously integrate field, laboratory and library data.
- Show uncommon scales, viewpoints and perspectives.
- Visit hazardous, fragile or normally inaccessible environments.
- Limited sensory stimulation, limited to sight and sound. No touch, smell, etc.
- A feeling for dimension, distance, size, form, topology or spatial extend.
- e.g., pictures of the Grand Canyon or NYC vs. visiting the Grand Canyon or NYC
- Less chance for the "serendipitous nature of discovery".
- Lack of physical, hands-on activities.
EDC has put up its assessment of the Passport to Knowledge on the CCT Web site. It allows potential participants to cross-check their particular objectives for science and technology with national standards and examples of state frameworks--definitely a good step.
Sometimes, teachers get so caught up in the thrill of new worlds that they neglect to consider learning outcomes.
KET, the PBS station in Lexington, KY, has assembled a wide range of field trips, from a pig farm to a watershed and even a steamboat.
Hundreds of field trips like these are available on the Internet.
Sometimes the best place for students to learn is outside of the classroom and in the real world. Thanks to online resources, teachers can take their class "virtually" to zoos, art museums, ancient landmarks, or even outer space!
Here are nine favorite virtual field trips for elementary school students. You can plan all sorts of exciting activities from the comfort of your classroom.