With the high price of fuel and distances separating schools from ideal locations, online field trips offer solutions. Virtual field trips have gained in popularity as more places of historic, scientific, geographic, and artistic significance now offer the alternative online field trip.
The recent issue of Christian Science Monitor (June 6, 2008) posted a story about places visited virtually. One seventh Stockton, CA class watched elephant seals 100 miles away on the coastline and listened as a field guide explained their behavior. Virtual field trips also prepare students for the real experience in advance of taking the trip.
The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC), which organizes online field trips, boasts delivering more than a million trips. Visits have span the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to the Bronx Zoo.
For teachers who prefer the real trip, virtual field trips offer one-of-a-kind collaboration with experts. After Pluto was demoted as a planet, one third-grade teacher arranged for her students to interview a NASA expert.
Read the Christian Science Monitor story for additional details. Post your comments about possibilities you envision. Imagine students in Connecticut going on a guided tour of Glacier National Park without leaving their classroom. What about getting up close and personal with zoo animals? How do virtual field trips extend the curriculum? What would be your ideal virtual school field trip?
Photo of Glacier National Park from http://www.nps.gov/glac/
Source: Arnoldy, B. (2008, June 8). Now students take field trips online. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved on June 9, 2008 from http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0607/p03s01-usgn.html
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