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Virtual Field Trip

Professional Development
By: Celeste Wegner
What is a VFT?
Virtual field trips are interactive Web-
based experiences that guide students
through an exploration of content about
themes, such as a specific place or time.
Why take a field Trip?
Allows students a window to view the real
world.
Provides students the opportunity to visit
places they have never been
Provides an alternative learning experience
Real vs. Virtual
Similarities
Both are group activities
where students interact
Both involve active learning
Both take students into
different and new learning
environments
Both take students out of
the classroom mentally
Differences
Virtual field trips take you
places you would not go
otherwise
Virtual field trips are safe.
Virtual field trips are free
Virtual field trips can be
repeated
Where to begin?
Identify the curriculum
Prepare for the trip
Prior to departing on a virtual field trip,
provide students with background
knowledge on the topic
Decide how students will participate in the
virtual trip

Example of a VFT
Developing a VFT
1. Visit the site yourself.
2. Take photos of key features.
3. Collect any brochures or information that
may be available at the site.
4. Prepare your photos and plan your virtual
field trip.
5. Put together your field trip.
Using VFTs
You can use VFTs created by others
You can have your students create a VFT
You can collaborate with grade level or subject
matter teachers to create VFTs for your
curriculum.
Some resources for VFTs
Big Bend National Park
Global Trek
Hershey's Factory
Dinosaur Tour
Great Wall of China
Albert Einstein: Image and Impact
How the Body Works
Conclusion
Whether you create your own Virtual Field
Trip or implement a Virtual Field Trip created
by someone else it is important to plan ahead.
VFTs allow opportunities to explore and gain
knowledge of places you would not visit
otherwise.

Challenge
God calls us to grow. Sometimes as educators
we fear the unknown of trying something new in
our classrooms. It is in the moments that we
trust Gods power with the fears of change that
He grows us. I believe God calls us into
education to bring about change in the life of
our students, as well as, ours. I challenge you to
grow with me as we embrace the use of VFTs in
our classrooms.
References
Ackerman, B. (2007). P.R.A.I.S.E.: effectively guiding student behavior / by Beth Ackerman..
Colorado Springs, Colo.: Purposeful Design Publications.
Kirchen, D. J. (2011, November). Making and Taking Virtual Field Trips in Pre-K and the
Primary Grades. young children, 66, 22-26.
Klemm, B., & Tuthill, G. (2003). Virtual Field Trips: Best Practices. International Journal of
Instructional Media, 30(2), 177-193.
Lacina, J. (2004). Designing a Virtual Field Trip. Childhood Education, 80(4), 221-222.
McCullough, J. D. (2008). Kingdom living in the classroom. Colorado Springs: Purposeful
Design publications.
Thorsen, C. (2009). TechTactics: technology for teachers (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and
Bacon.