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"Unleashing the Power of Virtual Field Trips: Keeping Students Engaged and Learning in the Final Stretch of the School Year"

Updated: Jun 5

As teachers, we're all feeling the strain during this final stretch of the year. Wrapping up instruction, test prep, combatting spring fever, and fighting through burnout (from both teachers and students) is a daunting task to tackle when we're just plain tired.


Enter the virtual field trip! Whether you create your own, have students create their own, or find one that is already done for you, virtual field trips are a great way to combat distractions, increase motivation, drive curiosity, and cater to multiple learning preferences. Virtual field trips can provide immersive experiences for our students that will captivate their interest and focus, which reduces distractions and negative behaviors. Through the exploration of new places and concepts, we can spark curiosity, which makes learning more meaningful and "sticky". This is perfect for end of the year and spiral reviews! Finally, learners who prefer visual stimulation are treated to rich images and videos that will capture and hold their attention, while students who prefer auditory learning can engage with narrations, native sound effects, and more.


There are so many pre-made virtual field trips available, so finding one that fits your needs shouldn't be too hard. Here are a list of places to help you get started in your search:


 

But let's say you're feeling frisky and want to create your own. Or even better, you'd like your students to do some research and then create their own. The key is all about creating an experience for the students. If you think back to the field trips you went on as a student, all five of your senses were engaged. So, when we're planning a virtual field trip, we want to make the experience as realistic as possible. We need to think about what would the students SEE if we were really there? What would they be able to SMELL, TOUCH, and HEAR? What would they be able to TASTE? Replicating these experiences is paramount in creating a virtual field trip experience that your students will remember.


We must also consider what our students are doing on their trip. Very rarely do we ever just let students loose at a destination and hope they learn something. No, we give them tasks, we give them "look fors", we give them purpose. The same should be true for virtual field trips. If you're wondering how in the world to put all of this together, I am HERE.FOR.YOU! I have developed an easy to follow Virtual Field Trip Planning template, just for you and your students. This template will walk you through the steps necessary for creating and "out of this world" (or at least "out of this classroom") experience. The template also includes guiding questions to help in the planning process.


So, what are you waiting for? Head over to my store and grab the FREE Virtual Field Trip Planning Guide!


Title and classroom image created in collaboration with AI, ChatGPT and Ideogram.ai, respectively. All other content was created by the author.



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