Designing a Virtual Field Trip
This workshop will enable participants to use Internet resources to design a "virtual field trip" for their students. Participants will become familiar with the strategies and resources that educators use to design these field trips as well as tips and tricks to ensure their success. By the end of this workshop, participants will have designed an effective and engaging virtual field trip that is aligned to their state's standards.
Designing a Virtual Field Trip is an introductory course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet and navigating computer files.
This workshop will enable participants to:
become familiar with the different types of virtual field trips,
become familiar with locating and using diverse Internet resources that can be used on a virtual field trip,
develop strategies for aligning a virtual field trip with existing curriculum and standards,
understand how to use Microsoft Word to create and present virtual field trips to students, and
develop strategies for assessing virtual field trips.
Assessment and Course Requirements
Participants are expected to complete the workshop readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Activities may include exploring websites related to workshop content, watching online video clips, using specific technology applications, and working on the final project.
As a final project, participants will complete a plan for a virtual field trip to explore a topic, person, era, or idea covered in their curriculum. The trip should also include use of Web applications, such as a video conference, Google Earth, or online image collections to enhance instruction.
Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Participants are required to post a minimum of two substantial postings each session including one that begins a new thread and one that responds to an existing thread. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance, degree to which they extend the discussion and tone.
Session One: Exploring the Learning Potential of Virtual Field Trips
In this first session, participants will be introduced to virtual field trips and explore how they can extend learning opportunities, student engagement, and motivation in the classroom. They will review ISTE’s Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) and consider how their current instructional units align with the standards put forth in this document. Finally, participants will get the opportunity to browse various collections of virtual field trips developed by other individuals and organizations.
Session Two: Connecting with Experts, Authors, and Classrooms Around the World
Videoconferencing allows teachers to bring students outside of the classroom without incurring the many expenses associated with traditional field trips. Newer videoconferencing technologies make this type of communication easier and many museums offer virtual programs designed for school audiences. Videoconferencing can also help students connect with authors, content experts or peers to stimulate knowledge sharing and information gathering. In addition to highlighting the virtues of videoconferencing, this session will showcase links to individuals, organizations and groups equipped to welcome your class for a virtual field trip.
Session Three: Virtual Journeys with Google Earth
Google Earth allows users to view three-dimensional images of almost any place in the world. You can create a tour that enhances the three-dimensional images with additional information about each location and you can share information in the form of text, short podcasts, historical images, or screen shots. You can also create a Google Lit Trip, which allows you to link this technology with the literature that you are studying, enabling students to replicate the journeys of the characters in books or see landmarks from historic locations. In this session, participants will explore Google Earth and learn more about Google Lit Trips by exploring some examples of tours and trips developed by other teachers.
Session Four: Building a Rich Virtual Field Trip
In the first part of this workshop, participants have learned several different models for presenting virtual field trips to their students. In this session, they will begin planning their own virtual field trip that enhances student learning by providing them with enticing visual images and detailed background information. Participants will begin by reading through some guidelines about creating virtual field trips and will select the type of virtual field trip that they will create. Using the planning template as a guide, participants will begin to create a virtual trip that integrates technology and addresses content standards.
Session Five: Assessment and Reflection
Virtual field trips engage students in a different way than a traditional book discussion or book report. In this session, participants will consider the issue of assessment and will learn about evaluating student learning during and after virtual field trips. Participants will read about alternative assessment practices and review the revised Bloom’s taxonomy to help assess whether or not the virtual field trip targets higher order thinking skills. Participants will also read about how blogging and providing time for reflection can also help students document their understanding. Later in this session, participants will begin to design at least one type of assessment that they can use to measure student understanding either during or after the virtual field trip.
Session Six: Putting it all Together
In the final session of this workshop, participants will complete their planning template and begin the process of bringing the virtual field trip online. The readings will guide participants in thinking about how their virtual field trips address important 21st century literacies and to assess whether or not their trips have the characteristics of well-designed projects. In the discussion forum, participants will share their virtual field trip plans and provide feedback to each other.