Field Trips–Three Virtual Options

Field trips make learning real and give students an opportunity to learn outside the classroom. If you want to take your students on a trip to a place far away or without the hassle of permission slips or worrying about COVID, a virtual field trip might be just the answer you are looking for.

One site to check out is Skype a Scientist.

The Skype a Scientist program includes a database of scientists who their time to help students and answer their questions. The site includes approx. 5900 scientists who will talk with students and Livestream scheduled events. At the time of this writing, on the schedule were topics such as Brain Genetics, Memory, Lakes, Life as a Large Animal Veterinarian, Antibiotic Resistance, Black in Marine Science, and the Engineer In All of Us. The schedule is posted and you can tune in live or previous sessions are available on their YouTube channel. Another alternative is to sign up using the online form. The company will match you with a scientist. After an email exchange, a time for a conversation will be agreed on and your students can prepare to meet with their scientist.

A second site designed to use collaborative technology to bring learning to students is the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. This is a collection of museums, science centers, galleries, zoos, aquariums, musicians, authors and others who have opportunities available for your students. At the time I was writing this blog post, the popular programs included Native American Life by the Durham Museum, American Indians by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Plant Parts and Pumpkins by Royal Botanical Gardens in Canada. CILC has four core values. Authentic Learning listed 339 available programs, 156 for Diverse Learning, 72 for Global Learning and 127 for Lifelong Learning. Although some of the programs are premium, many of them are free.

Discovery Education allows both on demand and recordings of leveled experiences and digital lessons to help classrooms. You can filter by subject area. The guides are standards aligned. Categories include health and wellness, careers and readiness, technology and manufacturing, sports, STEM, economics, conservation/environment, and more. Topics such as Art and History of the White House, Doodle 4 Google: Inspiring the Creative Process, and the Internet of Things, give you students a variety of experiences. It is compatible with Google Classroom and other online platforms such as Canvas and Microsoft. It is web based and can work with chromebooks, iPhones, tablets, and android phones. Resources are available for K-12.