What Is A Virtual Field Trip?
Advancements in technology have led to new innovations when it comes to teaching and education. A field trip is an educational tour taken by students to a site in order to learn and experiment on real world practices, or to simply see in real time what they have been taught in class.
A virtual field trip is an audio visual tour of a site or field in nature that can be accessed remotely without necessarily visiting the area physically. This content can be accessed using a smartphone or a computer. This content can be accessed by students in the comfort of their homes, in school or even a teacher can use it to teach whole classrooms without the need of leaving the school building. A virtual field trip is compiled by a professional with the intent to educate. As a teacher it is important that you utilize necessary technology in your line of teaching to make students understand concepts better.
Virtual field trips are flexible and allow one to visit far away places comfortably without incurring a large expense, students can visit another country from the safety of their living room. They can interact and learn about the interactive world of dance, or learn what it's like to become a music producer all from the comfort of the classroom or at home.
Live chats with experts allow students to ask real time questions and get feedback instantly.
This practical and reality based learning will elevate learning experiences in the classrooms and at home.
Taking A Virtual Field Trip.
In the current age and time, schools are well equipped to handle virtual field trips, what you need is an online connection since most virtual field trips can be found online and a means to play video and sound, preferably a smart board or a television. Most students have smart devices on them like a smartphone or they possess a smart device in their respective homes, teachers can send links for virtual tours that they can take on their free time. If you have decided to take on a virtual field trip, here are some of the tips to guide you through it:
1. Figure out which kind of field trip you would like to do. This has to be relevant with the type of content that you are currently teaching.
2. Set clear goals and objectives on what you would like your students to learn from the virtual field trip. Share the objectives with the students first so they familiarize with them.
3. Proceed to take the virtual field trip on your own first before showing it to the students. This is to make sure you are familiar with it, it satisfies your objectives and content is relevant. This will also test whether the technology you have is supported.
4. Prepare your students in advance, make sure they know to expect a virtual field trip and clear objectives on what to look out for.
5. If you are looking to have an expert answer students' questions, it's best to contact them and arrange for a live session early in advance.
Take time to do research on virtual field trips that suit your teaching style and are relevant to your students.
Benefits Of Virtual Field Trips.
Virtual field trips have leveraged on technology to become the better alternative to traditional field trips. Here are some of the benefits of virtual field trips
● Connecting theories to real World Practice.
A virtual field trip will enable a student to link theories learnt in books to real life practical use. This will challenge students to think critically and be able to put into practice theories learnt. Students will be able to make connections through practical situations seen on the virtual field trips.
● Enriching Learning.
Students are always eager to participate in activities that don't involve normal day to day learning. Virtual field trips are sure to enrich learning and make it fun. A virtual field trip will make it as if students are doing the travelling to different locations though they are in the classroom. The virtual field trip will break the monotony that is textbook learning to portray real life applications of knowledge.
● Infinite Discoveries.
Virtual field trips are not limited by distance and cost, students can literally travel anywhere and explore endless possibilities. The internet is huge and grows daily. A teacher can choose from a rich catalogue available online or even create their own customized virtual trip for their class. Students can also access this catalogue easily and can take on any virtual field trip based on their preference.
● Cheap, With Less Formalities.
Students don't need to travel to take a virtual field trip, this saves on costs that would have been used to set up logistics to visit the field. Less formalities are needed since no permission slips are required for parents to sign, the teacher doesn't have to run up and down trying to secure funds and necessary equipment to facilitate the trip.