So educators often get to hear about “the last field trip for the class in middle of the session” because of the obvious budget.
And they also hear the constant requests of students to organize a field trip. Reasons are the real life experience and the learning and the fun that comes with all of it. The alternative to both the situations can be virtual tours. As the wiki explains, a virtual tour is a simulation of an existing location, usually composed of a sequence of videos or still images. It may also use other multimedia elements such as sound effects, music, narration, and text. Virtual field trips can give students a bit of the “field trip experience” without the need for funding, permission slips, and chaperones.
However, conducting these virtual tours for the classes can be get messy if done without proper planning. Because you are travelling virtually, it is important to plan and make sure that things are done just the right way to have the best experience. Below are some quick pointers on how to make virtual tours an exciting, simple and useful part of your lesson plans.
1. Begin with Research
The first thing is to research and pick the right place. Your first step should be to tailor your virtual field trip to match it to your curriculum. The idea of doing so it to make it aligned to the needs of the curriculum.
2. Plan for Success
Make sure you’re ready with all the right technology that will be needed as your entire lesson goes down the road if things go wrong hence this calls for appropriate technical arrangements and right backup.
If you want students to have their own computer, arrange in advance to go to the computer lab. Be sure all the computers are able to visit the site(s) you want the students to look at. If a Smartboard or a projector is needed then make sure it’s all in the working order. Students love using technology in the classroom, but their attention begins to divide quickly when you have technological difficulties.
3. An after Tour Activity is a Must
It’s important to have some activity or assignment planned for the students based on the location where the visit was made. The idea is to make sure that the students were engaged and focused. Also, you get to know how much they’ve learned from the tour conducted as well where you need to pull up the socks in order to make sure that students have better experience if any fallbacks were experienced.
4. Indulge in Creativity
There are many ways to allow your students to experience something totally different while making it relevant to the curriculum – all it takes is a little creativity. If a virtual field trip doesn’t exactly fit into your curriculum, don’t despair! Try looking for cross-curricular ideas that you can use in your class.
Other Helpful Resources:
Focused on the Google virtual reality app: Google Expeditions. It promises to allow teachers to use technology in the classroom to “Take students on immersive, virtual journeys.
Share your views and insights on the same. Also mention the apps you use and the virtual tours your students love the most!
Make a mention in the comment section below.