A. Instruction - 6.9
B. Design - 7.8
C. Engagement - 9.1
Virtual Field Trips: Get Out in the World & Explore!
Summary : A Virtual Learning Experience!
Virtual Field Trips by Arizona State University features over a dozen places users can visit through this website that includes the sites of Early Civilizations, Karijini Gorge, and Ancient Earth among others. In addition, there are plans to add future locations, such as Tectonics, Beyond Earth, and the Origins of Water. To access a field trip, users most load the website and then click on the field trip they wish to take at the bottom of the screen. A pop up will then appear that offers a brief description of the trip, and users must click the green “Explore this VFT” button.
At this point, the field trip will load, and users are provided with a 360-degree view of the location along with its sounds. The website offers users a “Start Here” option that provides a video introduction to the location, and users can click the “Green” arrows to venture through it. Along the way, they can click on the embedded content that loads videos and text, which further explains various animals, plant life, and other features of the location. Users can also click “+” and “-“ buttons on the top to zoom in and out of a location. A menu feature is also available, and users can click it to access a glossary of terms for the location, contact information for the people who were part of the field trip, and additional content.
Finally, some of the virtual field trips include an interactive lesson that poses questions to users that they can consider when exploring the location.
Instructional Ideas for Virtual Field Trips
- After studying a topic or location, teachers can have students take a virtual field trip related to it using this website. While on the field trip, teachers can have students identify items they learned about in their lesson(s) previous to the field trip, and also note new items they saw in the field trip that were not part of the lesson(s). Teachers can then have students conduct individual research related to the new items and share their learning with the class.
- When on a virtual field trip, students can click on the menu option and use the glossary feature. They can then view the terms and definitions of the items located in that area. Next, students can work to identify where the specific items listed in the glossary appear in the virtual field trip. Students can share this information with the teacher, and as a class, they can work to locate all the terms listed in the glossary.
- While venturing through a virtual field trip, students may have questions. Instead of posing them to their teacher, students can direct their questions via email to the explorers listed on the “Contact” option of the dropdown menu who were on the actual field trip. The goal would be to create a dialogue between the ASU faculty members and the students to spur on their thinking and wondering about the field trip.
- For a creative writing assignment, students can explore one of these locations. As they do, they can record what they saw, felt, and heard while on the virtual field trip. Next, students can then use that location as a setting for a short story they are writing.
- Teachers can have students take a field trip that includes a lesson. In the lesson, students will be asked various questions related to the location, and students can complete the field trip by visiting the different sites within it and responding to the questions. Teachers can then collect the responses and use them to begin a class conversation.
|A2. 21st Century Skills|
|A3. Conn. to Future Learning|
|A4. Value of Errors|
|A5. Feedback to Teacher|
|A6. Level of Material|
|A7. Cooperative Learning|
|A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.|
|B1. Ability to Save Progress|
|B2. Platform Integration|
|B3. Screen Design|
|B4. Ease of Use|
|B6. Goal Orientation|
|B7. Information Presentation|
|B8. Media Integration|
|B9. Cultural Sensitivity|
|C1. Learner Control|
Screenshots of Virtual Field Trip