Activity Types: Virtual Field Trip

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Getting "Handy" in the classroom with technology integration

What is a Virtual Field Trip?
A virtual field trip is an activity in which students visit one large website (such as NASA or the Smithsonian Museum) or several related websites to simulate a field trip to locations too remote (or too virtual or non-existent) to be physically visited by students. The teacher prepares a study guide that walks the students through the web sites, pointing out interesting facts or activities and requesting students to collect information along the way—much as a museum tour guide would accomplish in a walking tour! The activity can be quite elaborate, with parent volunteers to lead students through the experience, or simply created to serve as a center activity. According to Kawka and Burgess (2001), in their book, V-Trip Travel Guide, "a V-trip is a pre-planned visit to a specific Internet destination to accomplish specific educational objectives" (p. 2), and these trips take almost as much planning and preparation as physical field trips. See Field Trip to the Antarctic and Field Trip to the Ocean for samples of study guides for children.
So, where do you go on V-trips? Some common trips include visits to:

There are also Virtual Field Trip Web sites that have Virtual Field Trips already prepared and available online--the "online" versions of study guides which are given to students in print format!
Visit Tramline at http://www.field-trips.org/ or
Virtual Field Trips at http://www.uen.org/utahlink/tours/ to see a few!!

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project


Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu