15 virtual field trips, online museums, and other assorted digital goodness
I spent a great day yesterday with about 300 social studies teachers chatting about all sorts of strategies that can engage learners. One of the things we discussed was the use Google Cardboard and virtual reality. Cardboard is a great way to explore all sorts of places around the world.
But part of our conversation, especially with elementary teachers, was that Cardboard requires a smart phone. For most grade school classrooms, cell phones will be difficult. And it’s not just elementary teachers that might struggle getting Cardboards and devices. Middle and high school teachers shared concerns about equity and access.
An alternative would be to focus on other types of virtual field trips. So today? A few suggestions:
- Start by catching up a bit on virtual tour tips and tricks.
- Then head to the Google Cultural Institute – inventor of Cardboard. Plan on spending a few days here. Art Project. World Wonders. Trust me. It will eat up your time.
- Google also has a new program called Expeditions. Google staff show up at your school with Cardboard, devices, special software designed specifically for the classroom, and freak out your kids with cool awesomeness. Sign up and cross your fingers.
- Then explore a couple of Discovery Education’s virtual field trips including Ford’s Theatre 150: Remembering the Lincoln Assassination (go directly to the virtual tour here) and Auschwitz: The Past is Present Virtual Experience. Go here to access archived and upcoming Discovery field trips.
- The Anne Frank house has an excellent site with resources and virtual tour of the Annex.
- 3D Historical Virtual Tours has four graphical tours from different eras. Kinda cheesy music but some interesting visuals.
- The Smithsonian Natural History Museum has a great virtual tour. As does the Lourve.
- Airpano uses drones to capture 360 degree views and videos of sites around the world. Use the handy map feature to select your favorites.
- Explore a huge variety of artifacts using this very cool British Museum tool.
- Check out the virtual home of president number one. Then head to Monticello. Always cool. And wrap up the president’s tour by exploring the Lincoln Memorial.
- Learn more about Colonial Williamsburg and 50 Washington DC area virtual tours.