It appears all school districts across the country are facing a shortage of funds. And when the school is in the red, one of the first things they reduce or cut entirely are class field trips. It is always a difficult choice on deciding what to remove for budget cuts and with class field trips being viewed as a luxury, many schools are eliminating them entirely.
However, if you are just like me, you probably can recall many great times on class field trips from when you were younger. I remember one lesson in the classroom where we discussed the various types of apples and trees in nature. The next day we went on a trip to the orchard and everything was brought to life out of the textbook. It is one thing to talk about topics and places, but it is quite another to visit them firsthand.
Even though the money is not there for students to climb on the bus and travel to these places anymore, there are still ways students can experience field trips without leaving the classroom.
Bring the Expert to the Classroom
Usually, on field trips, the class is led around by a guide that is an expert at what you would like the students to learn about. You should consider bringing the expert to your classroom instead. The person will probably bring in pictures, videos, and artifacts that they can share with your students so they still gain much of the knowledge that they would on a real field trip.
Video Conference with the Guide
There are enough video conference apps to choose from where you can easily schedule a time with the guide from a historical location and they can inform all the students in your classroom about the facts of that time and place. You can display the video conference on a screen in front of the class through a projector. It may cost a little bit of money as you are asking for an hour or two of a person’s time, but it will be much less expensive than bringing the whole class there on a field trip.
Field Trip Through a Projector
Technology is a game-changer when it comes to hosting field trips in the classroom. Many times, all you need is a projector, computer, and screen. In my classroom, we would find a place we would like to visit that corresponded with the lessons we were currently learning. Then we would experience traveling to the location through Google Maps and visit websites and watch videos that went along with what we were learning.
Virtual Reality Field Trips
Virtual reality (VR) is not just for video games. It has spread to all levels of education. There are plenty of 3D VR field trips to choose from that are completely free. All you need is the VR goggles and other equipment. The Google Expeditions app will have plenty of field trips to choose from that will simply amaze you and your students.
Special Website Field Trips
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (one of the most famous museums in the world) has its own website where you can virtually explore any part of the historical museum, both current and past exhibits. You can zoom in basically anywhere you want as you explore what they have to offer. They literally have hundreds of topics that will correspond with lessons you teach in the classroom. Plus, there are similar websites out there just like the Smithsonian. All you have to do is search a bit.
Don’t Stop There
If you would like to learn how to bring more technology into your classroom, iAchieve can certainly help. We offer all sorts of professional development workshops that will have you changing upon how you present lessons to your class.
RELATED BLOG POSTS