Virtual Field Trips & Distance Learning

Virtual field trips and distance learning are great options you can use to provide students with valuable classroom experiences that they would otherwise never have. Using the power of the internet, classrooms can connect to museums, historical locations, colleges, libraries, and just about any other location in the world where students interact with experts, artifacts or even other students.

Field trips can be expensive and laborious, and teachers lose valuable instruction time. Virtual field trips provide students with many of the same experiences as a real field trip, but they can be completed in as short as a single class period and for as low as $100. All you need is the appropriate equipment and the World becomes your classroom!

Students Talking with Pearl Harbor Veteran Herb Weatherwax

Does all of this sound complicated? It’s not! If you can hook up a DVD player, you can connect your students to anywhere in the world via the internet. We have had great success with virtual field trips. One of my personal favorites is having my classes see and speak with a Pearl Harbor veteran live from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (this one’s free, too!). What better way for students to learn about this pivotal moment in American history than from someone who actually experienced it? We have also “traveled” to Jerusalem where we studied archaeology with a field archaeologist and examined real artifacts. Teachers can also engage in school-to-school collaboration. This means that two teachers in separate states or countries collaborate on a unit and use videoconferencing to have their students work together in completing the unit.

Check with your School District's technology department to see if they have the necessary equipment to help you begin your adventures around the world! If you're a home schooling parent check with your local library for equipment options.

Search available virtual field trips!Find teachers to collaborate with!

There are an ever-growing number of possibilities when it comes to virtual field trips and collaboration. Below is a sampling of available Virtual Field Trips across the world. There are literally thousands more (see above).

Adventures In Medicine & Science (AIMS) Program of Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Amon Carter Museum
Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
The Biosphere (Canada)
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
NASA's Digital Learning Network (Kennedy Space Center) - Kennedy Space Center, FL
The National WWII Museum
Pro Football Hall of Fame - Canton, OH
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum - Cleveland, OH
Roper Mountain Science Center - Greenville, SC
Royal Botanical Gardens (Canada)
Saint Louis Zoo
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Space Center Houston
Texas State Aquarium

Students in Greenville, South Carolina take a virtual field trip to Missouri. Benefits of virtual field trips are also discussed in the video.

A video highlighting a student-created virtual field trip from Texas. This video also outlines the equipment used in the virtual field trip process.

Watch the video below to see how students in Oklahoma planned and presented their own virtual field trip to sixth graders in Vermont.

A virtual field trip elementary students took to the west coast to learn about tide pools from a park ranger.