Connecting the educational world to your classroom

Virtual Field Trips

a3-may

Field trip season is upon us! As the school year wraps up, millions of students will head out to zoos, museums and parks. But there’s another way for your students to experience new and exciting places – and they don’t even have to leave the classroom. Virtual reality field trips have become quite popular, and if you’re not already using VR in your classroom, your students are missing out on a great learning opportunity.

The internet is full of virtual field trips, so it’s easy to find several tailored to a particular grade level. They range from short and simple to detailed and complex. And thanks to the availability of inexpensive headsets, VR field trips cost far less than traditional travel.

Here are a few VR field trip apps to get you started:

• Google Expeditions – Built specifically for the classroom, Google Expeditions is the most popular VR field trip app. Teachers become tour guides as they take their students deep sea diving or to the Great Wall of China.
• Discovery VR – The Discovery Channel has expanded into the virtual space by converting popular shows like Shark Week and Secret Space Escapes into videos. They also offer virtual field trips to faraway destinations like Nepal, Italy or South Africa.
• Titans of Space – This program lets students take a self-guided tour of the solar system in their own space pod. They’ll get a sense of the true scope and size of the planets and learn many interesting facts along the way.

Virtual reality can capture your students’ attention in ways that books and lectures cannot. VR field trips are a great way to supplement your lesson plans or engage minds during rained-out recesses. As VR technology continues to expand and improve in quality, classroom VR field trips are expected to grow in popularity. While they may never fully replace old fashioned field trips, they allow students to explore exotic and interesting destinations that can’t be reached by bus.

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