Virtual field trips, the name itself makes you think if it’s fun, or something that would bore you to death. Basically, we all love a little bit of field trip activity to study the concept first hand. Virtual field trips are no bore rather a very effective invention.
Now you may be thinking, what is this so-called “virtual” field trip? And why is it considered an effective invention?
Well a virtual field trip is a teachers best friend that has helped teachers keep their sanity in check. Basically, these trips are designed to offer digital explorations of our world through things like images, videos, audio clips, animations and sounds. Moreover, they are nothing more than interactive web-based experiences. These interactions help students explore the world through various content and themes. It could be a particular place or period or anything.
Field trips are very much a pain to any teacher. The teachers need to carefully choose the field trip venue, take the students safety into account, and take care of various other responsibilities. Moreover, teachers are entitled towards the safety of the students when going on such field trips. In all honesty these trips can be exhausting and no fun for the teacher giving them a bunch of stress.
Field trips are known as traditional ways by which leaders of all ages have gained hand–on–experience when taken on such elusive trips. This very notion has also been proven important by various researchers. Learners that see things firsthand learn and absorb much more than within confined walls of the classroom.
This is where virtual field trips shine the most. If you have adequate technology, it is very easy to create a successful virtual trip. In most cases schools are well equipped with the technology needed like internet connection with projectors and speakers
Can You Meet with Experts in Real Time?
Virtual trips have opened up a new level for interactions. In addition to that, these trips are so appealing to students as well as teachers because they offer you the option to meet and interact with experts. What more, learning and hearing stories from them is a cherry on the top.
Their trips can also be associated with video recording or interviews; it’s not necessary to be live. The idea of a recorded video does sound appealing to the ears as the videos can be played based on the convenience the drawback that comes with such recordings are that leaders are restricted when it comes to questioning. Students are curious they are eager to ask the simplest of questions to gain a better understanding but this may not be achieved with recordings.
How to achieve a trip
There are apps like Skype and other facilities that make virtual trips possible, on such apps teachers can set up a time or class with experts and help in conducting such trips.
Tips for Taking a Virtual Field Trip
Here are a few tips that can help you organize a well orientated virtual field trips for eager leaders
• First and foremost, make it a point to check the availability of the required technology.
• Keep a rough idea of what type of trip you want.
• You can make the trip based on the syllabus you are teaching or simply a trip wherein students are enriched with something useful in their lives.
• Make it a point to determine what the students need to learn through this trip.
• You can also take the trip yourself to gain a better understanding and plan accordingly.
• Motivate your students to do a bit of homework before the virtual trip.
• Expects love to be questioned even if it’s silly, motivating the students to ask questions on anything they would like.
• You can prepare a set of questions ahead of time to aid this.
• Questions can come up amidst the presentation that’s fine.
It’s important to know that these virtual field trips cannot be overdone just because it is easily accessible to the students. With time it will grow to be a part of their life and will lose its luster thus make sure you don’t over do it rather plan it appropriately.
You can always take your time in planning a good virtual trip, so do the necessary research to determine if the trip is appropriate for the students or not.
Benefits of their trips…
Traditional methods of field trips aren’t bad but there are lots of concerns associated when holding such trips.
Virtual trips are cost effective because it cut-off the need for transportation. Furthermore it reduces time spent giving out instructions when associated with in-person field trips.
The best part about virtual trips is that they eliminate the need for safety concerns. Field trips always keep the teachers on their toes. They need to look after their students’ well being and keep them secure. This very cause is eliminated with the help of virtual trips because these trips can be accomplished within school-grounds itself thus securing the safety concerns of teachers and parents.
No long journey
Field trips that have a lengthy journey cut a lot of time. These trips reduce the time where students can enjoy and learn. Lengthy journeys are mundane, there is no way around it to overcome them. Virtual trips take care of their problems thus these trips are more time effective and cater the needs of students…
In addition, virtual field trips help in creating interactive sessions along with a good enriching experience to students. You can create and bring any theme into existence for your students; it is always at your beck and call. These sessions also help students on an interactive basis and diverse their perspectives in various fields.
Barriers that could be faced with virtual trips…
Everything has its own pros and cons, so do virtual trips. Virtual trips are only possible where there is adequate technology to support its process. Things like internet access, projectors and other technological devices aid these trips. To top it off good speakers that are audible fluently without noise are needed. If any of these are lacking it makes the trip mundane.
There should not be any source of disturbance in these circumstances, a class that is fully concentrated on the talk needs to keep that concentration throughout. With external disturbances the link of concentration may be destroyed thus making it difficult for the students to gain it back..
These are some of the few things that need to be taken into consideration when holding virtual field trips. Virtual field trips may not entirely substitute on-ground field trips but they greatly reduce the harmful factors faced when taking young students on field trips. Virtual trips are open to everyone and making the best out of it also depends on how the person utilizes these opportunities.