Field trips allow students to learn while engaging all of their senses. Although some districts may lack the funding to afford students these valuable educational opportunities, you can bring the field trip to the classroom with modern technology. Here are five virtual field trips that are a must-see for any grade level:
Every geography lesson can dazzle with Google Earth. Can’t afford to take your French students to the Eiffel Tower? Take a trip via Google Earth. The UNESCO World Heritage section is a must for any global studies class, allowing your class to can visit Rapa Nui National Park or the Carlsbad Caverns. The applications of Google Earth are endless for any grade level and in almost any subject. Enhance literature by visiting the settings of the stories, or take your kindergarten class to a real rain forest.
Google Art Project is an art teacher’s dream come true. Similar to Google Earth, Google Art Project allows you to tour entire museums. With more than 150 collections from more than 40 countries, you can zoom in on more than 30,000 works of art. A few of the museums include the Tate Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Van Gogh Museum. You can view items up close, accompanied by descriptions, and even build your own collection of favorite pieces. You can take your elementary school on a free trip to a museum or discuss more sophisticated art concepts with high school students. There is even an education section with videos, questions and a “Do It Yourself” area.
While the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has a number of videos and articles that would be useful in any biology class, all grade levels would be fascinated by the virtual tour of an actual blue whale.
You can get up close and personal with any area of the whale’s body. The only way to get closer would be to catch one in the wild!
Preschool and elementary students would love to visit a farm. With the 4-H Virtual Farm, you don’t have to worry about allergy attacks or unpleasant smells.
There are six tour options, including farms with horses, fish, beef cows, dairy cows, poultry and wheat.
This is an excellent way to introduce your students to biology, agriculture, even business!
It may be expensive to take your class on a trip to Washington D.C., so Inside the White House is a must for older elementary and middle school students learning about government, as well as any civics or American history class.
You can watch videos or take an interactive tour through the West Wing, the South Lawn, the East Wing and the Residence. There is even a slide show of the presidents and other historical information.
About the author:
Logan Harper is the community manager of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government’s online MPA program – one of the top MPA programs in the U.S. Outside of work, Logan enjoys traveling, cooking, and watching documentary films. Follow him on Twitter @harperlogan.