Previously in TechNotes, we’ve explored virtual field trips across our home state of Texas and even around the world. As students and teachers head to the end of a hectic year, digital tours and field trips can still be useful ways to engage students, whether on a break or at a distance.
In this post, we’ll share some more virtual field trips to take the learning on tour.
Discovering with Discovery
Discovery Education has compiled a large database of interactive field trips that you can search and filter by topic. They also offer tech tips and a variety of field trips that go beyond the standard museum visit. Unique interactive tours include topics like body positivity and the Internet of Things.
Exploring at Home
As school schedules (and delivery methods) change, parents are looking for positive ways to keep their kids engaged with learning, even as so much else around them seems uncertain. A number of outlets have put together digital resources to help families take their kids to the most interesting corners of the world, even when they can’t leave the house.
- This collection from Good Housekeeping includes virtual trips to places like museums and galleries, as well as farms, zoos, nature sites and more.
- Meanwhile, Today offers exotic natural spaces alongside amusement parks. You can even find some fun digital classes to take together, or to boost a skill or engage with a child’s hobbies or interests.
- At KidsActivities.com, you will find more than 40 different digital trips and activities to keep kids off the couch during breaks, or any time. Spelunk into the world’s largest cave, go on safari in Namibia, or scan the skyline from the top of the Empire State Building. The choice is yours!
While in some cases it can be safe to explore the outdoors, doing so can be difficult with restrictions and concerns about travel. Those looking to see the wonders of the great outdoors are in luck, though, with these helpful guides connecting you to nature.
- The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Lab has deeply developed resources for teaching with virtual trips, including videos and a teacher’s guide. These tours even take topics and extend them around the world, meaning tours can cover ideas and not just places. These tours are made for students aged 5–19, but can also be adapted and customized.
- In addition, you can find compelling natural field trips online, courtesy of the National Parks Service and National Park Foundation. If you like those, you might also look into Google Arts & Culture’s “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” or this massive list from PBS.
Getting a Guide
If you’re looking to vet different tours and activities before sharing them with students, you’re not alone. Common Sense works to vet educational pages and online sources, and they’ve done the same with virtual field trips.
Trips to museums, parks, historical sites, and more show students that learning (and life) happens outside the classroom, too. During field trips, students discover new things and learn in authentic environments, placing classroom content into new contexts. Unfortunately, for many schools and students, field trips are rare (if they happen at all). Thankfully, there are great games, apps, and websites that can bring places and experiences fostered by field trips to the classroom. While not an outright replacement, these field trip tools can offer inspiring and intriguing experiences for students.Virtual Field Trip Apps and Websites (Common Sense)
Check out their list of 32 carefully reviewed resources with detailed information. You can also find digital teaching tools at their Wide Open School site.
Where will you be visiting digitally with your students? Let us know in the comments!
Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels