10 Digital Field Trips For The Modern Classroom

vftField trips are important to student development. They bring students to new place physically, but also to places in their mind. I once had a student who said that his entire reason for pursuing acting was because of a field trip to see Shakespeare at the Trinity Repertoire Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island. Many students don’t have the occasion to see Shakespeare, get out into the forest, experience a ballet, go camping, or go on the class trip abroad. It’s often difficult to plan field trips, and it’s costly.

Companies are seizing opportunities to help with this. EdTrips.com takes care of a teacher’s field trip needs–doing every thing from taking payments and collecting permission slips to helping with planning and notifications if necessary. Sometimes, it’s still not easy to take a class off campus. There may be funding issues, permission issues, time issues, or any number of reasons a real field trip cannot be planned.

This week’s Learnist feature is dedicated to field trips. One board is about free trips but the rest are about trips you can take right in the 21st century classroom–or for older students, even on their mobile device.

The Value of Class Trips

This board sells the value of class field trips. I don’t think anyone would dispute that given the opportunity, taking students for field trips is wonderful. There are a number of ways to do small things with students but are unable to commit to a big expense.

Virtual Field Trips

Brenda Sanbulte is a veteran teacher who wants to take her students around the globe, and because she is a 21st century teacher, she can do it. The internet can take students places they’d only see in a page or two in a textbook. This may not be a substitute for traveling the world, but it brings learning to life.

Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips

The Discovery Channel material on Learnist is fantastic. Discovery boasts some of the best photography in the world. Students look at their features and become engaged. There isn’t a part of the world that Discovery doesn’t cover, but Discovery Education brings it to your door specifically for the classroom. This board is about Discovery Education’s ability to take your class on a virtual field trip right from your seats or their mobile device.

Learning Culture through Food: Mexico

Carrie Sorensen has created a series of these boards–her students travel the world through research and food. Nothing makes lasting impressions more than when we teach using all five senses, and food is one of students’ favorite all-time lessons in class at any age level. Travel the world with Carrie’s Mexico board to start, and then search for the others in this valuable series.

Free Educational Field Trips

If you’re tired of the virtual field trips, you may be able to get out and about for the cost of the bus. This board is dedicated to many opportunities you may have locally to visit places that give classes free admission.  If you still can’t get out, many of these places have online resources and exhibits.

“The City of Mozart,” A Travel Guide to Salzburg, Austria

This would be a great real trip, but it’s a nice virtual trip for foreign language students, music history students, or students looking at areas of the world. Dave Stancliff made this board in honor of one of the greatest composers ever to walk this planet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Taking Learning Outside the Classroom

Taking learning outside the classroom is critical. This board features an article from Scientific American that states just how much of an impact taking learning outside the classroom can have. You can bring your class somewhere on campus, though, and have a great effect, too.

A Virtual Field Trip Through Ancient Rome

This board reconstructs Ancient Rome -  from the art, history, and politics. It’s as close to the Colosseum as you’ll get without a time machine.

Travel Websites You Need to Know

This site from writer and music editor Tyler Wilcox is all about travel sites. It can be helpful to you, the adult who desperately needs a vacation, but also in comparing, contrasting, and researching destinations for students. I’d use this in an economics or math lesson, and also for lessons that involve organizing, planning, and presenting information, all of which are Common Core skills.

Aussiemandas–Virtual Touring–California, USA

This board is dedicated to the natural resources of California. It’d be great to get students to all these parks and locations. It’d be wonderful to get teachers out vacationing at them, too. The extra energy you’ll bring back to your universe will amaze you.

1 Comment

  1. Pnina Dorchy

    October 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

    This is very exciting looking forward tying some of these things out.
    Thanks for sharing.