Monday, November 7, 2011

Around the One Class Period

What is a Virtual Field Trip?

Take your students to the TajMahal, the Smithsonian,the Tower of London, even Mars all in one class period! It's easy to create interactive web based experiences that spark student interest and motivate learning with virtual fieldtrips!
A virtual field trip is an interactive online adventure that guides students through an exploration of places, time, themes, and content. Virtual fieldtrips offer students a chance to go to places they would't be able to go to otherwise. You can be their guide or let the students guide themselves.

Advantages of Virtual Exploration
  • Virtual field trips are the next best thing to being there and actually have some advantages over the traditional on site field trip.
  • Virtual field trips are free and easy to plan. No permission slips. No transportation arrangements needed.
  • Virtual field trips offer lots of opportunities to explore with the class using the intearactive white board or students can explore on their own at their own pace.
  • The field trip never ends. Students can revisit as much as they want to review or simply explore some more.
Helpful Hints and Tips
Try one for yourself! Click here to take a panoramic interactive tour of the Smithsonian. Think you are ready to create your own? Here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Think first, then plan. What is the purpose of your trip and what do you want students to gain from it?
  2. Setting up your first virtual field trip takes time, just like a traditional field trip would. So plan ahead. See your instructional technology specialist for assistance.
  3. Search the internet for pre-made virtual field trips to get ideas. Maybe even use one you find. Here is a great site with premade virtual trips by topic that you can use tomorrow
  4. Check those sites! Make sure you preview your field trip to ensure that the sites are appropriate for your students.
  5. Take the trip yourself first to make sure all links and pages are working before you go.
  6. Get the students involved! As an assignment, let groups of students create their own virtual field trips to share with the class. Save these trips so you can use them in the future. The students will love it.
Want to learn more? Then sign up now for Oh the Places You'll Go webinar, presented Wednesday, Nov. 9 beginning at 8:00 p.m. You'll learn how to create your own trip and will get tons of resources and 1.5 hours of staff development credit! Click here to register.

Website of the Week:Spicynodes
Spicynodes is a free website which allows you to create interactive mind maps as well as interactive journeys through the web. It's easy, fun, and visually appealing. It is interactive and makes a great alternative to lectures and notes. Students can click their way through the information you chose for them or they can create their own spicynodes to show what they have learned. (This would make a great start for a virtual field trip, too!)

Tip of the Week: Outlook Alerts-Be Careful!
If you are using your laptop (or your desktop) as your presentation station, remember to close Outlook before you start teaching. If you have desktop alerts turned on, then email notifications will appear on your board over your flipchart or presentation for all to see!  To keep this from happening, use your teacher workstation to check email. To turn on or off desktop alerts in Outlook, go to File, Options, MAIL, Message Arrival, then Desktop Alert Settings. Uncheck the box which says "Display Desktop Alert."

1 comment:

  1. Love the virtual field trip! Thanks!