User-Generated Content in Education/Virtual Field Trips


Virtual Field TripsEdit

Virtual field trips provide opportunities for teachers and students to make personalized connections with the curriculum through an online learning environment. Through the use of technology students can be motivated and gain interest in new content areas. The internet provides a wealth of virtual field trips all over the world for all grade levels, providing experiences that would otherwise not be available to many students. Many virtual field trips come with a price tag and many teaching resources, however several free or open source virtual field trips are available on the web. [1] Thousands of virtual field trips can be accessed via the web that have been created by students, teachers, and parents. Virtual field trips offer a variety from photo tours of locations too far or too expensive for teachers to take their students to highly interactive video and audio field trips. [2]

File:Fieldtrip2 1 .jpg

Types of Virtual Field TripsEdit

There are two types of virtual field trips on the web, packaged or pre-developed virtual field trips, and teacher created or personalized virtual field trips.Pre-developed or packaged virtual field trips are usually organized into three basic types: commercial; informational; and educational. [3] Commercial sites want to sell something to the visitor. The visitor will be directed to other sites advertising merchandise and or a real excursion to the virtual destination, such as a vacation spot. Informational sites are often designed to promote and educate the public about a cause. For instance visitors to a nature preserve like the rain forest might hear a particular point of view like the mission statement of the organization. Educational sites are those created by teachers or students as part of a personal project or unit and are available for online use. These types of virtual field trips may or may not be useful. Advantages of packaged virtual field trips are that a wide array of subjects and age levels are available and it is convenient having sites ready to go. Pre-made sites may have websites that disappear or are under construction, and graphics may be slow to load.[4]. It might be hard to determine the technological level needed to be successful. [5] Another disadvantage is not being able to modify or edit the trips to ensure curricular goals and specific learner needs are met [6]. Teacher created or personalized virtual field trips are designed by the educator so can more easily meet the needs of individuals and groups as well as appropriate curricular goals and standards [7]. These virtual field trips give the teacher more control over audio, visual imagery, text, and the overall experience [8].

Advantages of Virtual Field TripsEdit

• Shows images from different view points

• Flexibility for time constraints

• Several styles of accessibility: internet & CD ROM

• Able to differentiate between grades and learning abilities

• Interactive[9]

Disadvantages of Virtual Field TripsEdit

• Do not meet all senses. (smell, etc.)

• Lack three-dimensional nature

• Accessing the internet and computers for CD ROMs provide a variety of obstacles

• Not all websites are controlled

• Students may lack time management while “on” the field trip

• School may have virtual field trips blocked. • Not all “field trips” are virtual in nature. • Little interaction with actual people. • No room for Q&A sessions at the end. • Other “fillers”, advertisements or pop-ups in some web pages could pose as a distraction to students. • Reliability of websites (here today, gone tomorrow)[10]

Examples of Virtual Field TripsEdit

White House


Science Trips

Solar System - Nine Planets

4-H Virtual Farms

Think Port - a wide variety of tours that can be used for math, science & social studies

Franklin Institute - The Virtual Heart


Virtual Dissection of a Frog

- Shakespeare Virtual Tour

- Women in History

- The Oregon Trail

- The Butterfly Garden

ReferencesEdit

  1. Beal, C, & Mason, C. (1999). Virtual fieldtripping: no permission notes needed creating a middle school classroom without walls. Meridian, 2(1), Retrieved from http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/jan99/vfieldtrip/index.html
  2. Steele-Carlin, S. (2006). Virtual field trips allows students to get outta the class without leaving their seats. Education World, Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech071.shtml
  3. Mandel, S. Why Use Virtual Field Trips? Retrieved June 2013 from http://www.phschool.com/eteach/professional_development/virtual_field_trips/essay.html
  4. Tuthill, G., & E.B. Klemm. 2002. “Virtual Field Trips: Alternatives to Actual Field Trips.” International Journal of Instructional Media 24 (4): 453–68.
  5. Zanetis, J. 2010. “The Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips.” Learning & Leading with Technology 37 (6): 20–23.
  6. Kirchen, D. “Making and Taking Virtual Field Trips in Pre-K and the Primary Grades.” National Association for the Education of Young Children Journal 66 (6): 22-26. Retrieved June 2011 from http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201111/Kirchen_Virtual_Field_Trips_Online%201111.pdf
  7. Zanetis, J. 2010. “The Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips.” Learning & Leading with Technology 37 (6): 20–23.
  8. NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media.2011. “Technology in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children Birth through Age 8.” Draft, joint position statement. Washington, DC:NAEYC. www.naeyc.org/positionstatements/technology.
  9. Qiu, W, & Hubble, T. (2002). The advantages and disadvantages of virtual field trips in geoscience education. The China Papers, Retrieved from http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/pubs/china/vol1/weili.pdf
  10. Qiu, W, & Hubble, T. (2002). The advantages and disadvantages of virtual field trips in geoscience education. The China Papers, Retrieved from http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/pubs/china/vol1/weili.pdf

1. Beal, C, & Mason, C. (1999). Virtual fieldtripping: no permission notes needed creating a middle school classroom without walls. Meridian, 2(1), Retrieved from http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/jan99/vfieldtrip/index.html
2. Steele-Carlin, S. (2006). Get outta class with virtual field trips. Education World, Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech071.shtml
3. Qiu, W, & Hubble, T. (2002). The advantages and disadvantages of virtual field trips in geoscience education. The China Papers, Retrieved from http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/pubs/china/vol1/weili.pdf

Last modified on 11 July 2013, at 22:14