Zanetis, J. (2010). The Beginner's guide to interactive virtual field trips. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=March_April_No_6_1&Template=/MembersOnly.cfm&NavMenuID=4516&ContentID=25443&DirectListComboInd=D
The article suggested new ways for kids to virtually visit and explore experiments, museums, historical sites, processes in organizations, watch demonstrations of certain fields, they can also attend some special events and festivals. There are two possible (VFT)Virtual Field Trips; Asynchronous VFT and Interactive synchronous VFT. The Asynchronous VFT are site that are live but rather are web-pages that guide you through a particular location or it provides podcast that show images of the location and relevant imagery and may provide written information about the place or topic. Interactive synchronous VFT is a live broadcast that comes from organization, historical place or museums. There video conferencing is done with an educator that guides you through a tour filled with information pertaining to the organization or place. The interactive VFT also provides activities and study guides sometimes, where students could become more involved before or after the lesson.
What are some of the websites for the Asynchronous VFT and how might they be helpful in the class?
www.efieldtrips.org This one is cool because it has 4 helpful components: It has an Expert tool that lets you ask question, it provides a hosted Webchat where students could discuss with each other, Virtual Visit which is the video guide into the place and the Trip Journal which allows students to write down their ideas.
www.accessexcellence.org/RC/virtual.php This site has health and science fun lab lessons.
www.gaillovely.com/VirtualFieldTrips.htm It has links with tours of museums and places. It also has map visits, travelogues and read along tours.
How could my school have the Interactive VFT and is there a charge?
You need to have a video conferencing software that is video compatible with h.323 and capable of IP based connections. You need to find a video equipment vendor that may assist your school. There is a charge for having the software and for the programs. You can try to see of videoconferencing companies offer grants and funding resources. Once you establish the programs you need to find reliable programs like the Creative Interacting Learning and Collaboration www.cilc.org.