Virtually There: Global Virtual Field Trips in the Elementary Classroom
Your Name and Title: Maria D. Shaheen, Ph.D.
School, Library, or Organization Name: Kennesaw State University
Co-Presenter Name(s): Stacy Delacruz, Ph.D., Lisa McNeely (KSU undergraduate preservice teacher), Elizabeth Farmer (KSU Undergraduate preservice teacher)
Country from Which You Will Present: U.S.A.
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience (such as primary school teachers, high school administrators, students, etc.): Elementary teachers & administrators, Teacher educators
Short Session Description (one line): Virtual Field Trips can be an excellent way to enhance your curriculum and allow students to “travel” to various places around the world.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
Traditionally, field trips have been used as a way to help deepen students’ understanding of content area instruction, bridging informal and formal learning. However, due to time constraints and budget cuts, face-to-face field trips have been reduced and in some cases cut altogether. Teachers are searching for ways to get their students to participate in unique learning experiences and “Virtual” Field Trips (VFTs) are one option that has increased in popularity since the 1990’s. Though VFTs are not meant to replace actual field trips, they can help serve a variety of purposes such as enhancing learning before/after an actual field trip and providing fields trips for classrooms that are unable to leave the school due to various reasons. In addition, VFTs are an excellent way for students to learn about global issues as students explore concepts from a variety of geographical locations.
A VFT is a digital field trip that allows students to experience distant places without ever leaving the classroom (Kirchen, 2011; Klemm & Tuthill, 2003). VFTs vary in their quality but best practices dictate that virtual field trips should meet the following criteria (Klemm & Tuthill, 2003):
This session will discuss Virtual Field Trips and showcase our current Global Virtual Field Trip project (a collaborative project between local elementary schools, a partner school in Ecuador and Kennesaw State University Elementary Education students). As part of this project, preservice teachers create Virtual Field Trips and submit them for local elementary teachers to use. The elementary teachers “rate” the field trips and give feedback on ways to improve the VFT’s for future elementary classrooms. Elementary classes are also encouraged to submit their own original field trips to add to the VFT collection. This session will help elementary teachers, administrators, and teacher educators interested in beginning a Virtual Field Trip project learn the “nuts and bolts” of creating a VFT. Examples of some recently created VFT’s will also be available.
At the end of the session, directions for participating in this VFT project will be shared with participants. Virtual Field Trips from around the world will be solicited on a variety of pre-selected topics. Through this project, we hope to share a global view of many concepts young children typically study in their science and social studies curricula.
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:
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I do like the idea of having more excursions/ field trips. Our students really do need them to develop their conceptual understandings of oh so many things. Put in a global context this has an immediate contribution to student understanding of other cultures.
I will tuning in to see what I can do to add this to my planning for 2013 units of work.
This sounds like a great idea and I can see the potential for developing understanding and linking learning amongst many other skills. This could be a resource that all teachers and students could benefit from. I will certainly attend.