What Are Virtual Fieldtrips? Essay

4055 words - 17 pages

The days of arriving to school early with a sack lunch, eagerly awaiting roll call and then to board a bus and go on a fieldtrip are becoming very rare these days. Fieldtrips are becoming too expensive for schools to provide and parents do not want to dish out loads of money for something that could potentially be taught in a classroom for free. In all age groups fieldtrips are slipping into a memory. Yet, a new way to take fieldtrips has emerged and is growing in popularity: Virtual fieldtrips. A virtual field trip is “a guided and narrated tour of website(s) that have been selected by an educator… and arranged in a “thread” that students can follow from site to site with just a click of a ...view middle of the document...

The study guide helps to make sure that the students stay focused on the key points that you have laid out for them. Then the rubric allows for you as the educator to evaluate the fieldtrip and its content along with how well your students learned and enjoyed from it.
When you plan for a virtual field trip you need to make sure your school has access to the technology required and to the permits that it may need for your fieldtrip to take place. Once you have the required permits and technology you should contact your IT department and the schools technical coordinator to discuss if there is going to be a cost to use the equipment. Look over the place you have chosen for the fieldtrip and see if it requires a cost to have the field trip, this mainly pertains to the guided tours most others are free since they are self-guided. Contact the sight provider and coordinate with them your lesson plan, key points, and learning objectives that you have for your students. Schedule a day that you can have a practice run to make sure all the equipment such as microphones, mouse and monitors are all functioning properly. Exchange information so if any problem occurs you have a way to contact each other. As the educator it is important to familiarize yourself with the controls and equipment beforehand instead of trying to figure it all out on the day of. It is also a good idea, if possible, to show your students how some of the stuff works in case you are using a piece of technological equipment that they are unfamiliar with. Ensure the room is set up so that all students have a good view and are able to properly interact and participate in the fieldtrip. Explain to your students that the on sight coordinator can see and hear them so talking over them is not permitted. Explain that they are permitted to ask questions and are encouraged to interact as much as possible during the fieldtrip. If posts or activities are offered for your students to complete then have them do them. When the field trip is over, complete an evaluation. Discuss how well it went and see if it met all the requirements that you set up for it (Hauck, 2001).
Science in and of itself is a complex topic. Simply talking about the fusing of molecules or the combustion of particles can be a little confusing. Even imagining the inside of a frog or seeing the millions of stars in the Milky Way at night due to light pollution can be a difficult task. By not being able to see or touch what one is learning about can make fully understanding it more difficult. We tend to learn through things we already know or have seen. Even those in the junior high age range are not all lucky enough to have witnessed some of sciences greatest features. “Some of the most basic-and best- science lessons are learned hands-on” (Education World Inc., 2014, p.1). Fieldtrips provide these students with the tools to see or witness things they have been learning about. Allowing them to better understand and put them into...

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