Virtual Field Trips and the Tech Tools that Make Them Great

We’re going to the zoo in a week or so. The reading teacher and I decided we’d integrate a lesson for the kids to do while there.  I’m starting to think I can get the social studies teacher in on this act too.  I’m a big fan of integrated lessons; the kids are better able to connect the dots on the oneness of content learning that way. I have big plans for this trip.. HUGE plans…

So, I spent the day today, at the zoo, taking pictures and video for the anticipatory lesson I’ll be doing this coming week.  You can see the video here.

This is my big chance to do something very techie. Not all of the students will be going, so how can we have them participate with us?   How about having my students tweet pictures and commentary to a hash tag so we can discuss it later in the week?  Perhaps we can use Sound Cloud or Notability to keep audible and non audible track of the little scavenger hunt we’ll be doing. MAYBE we can set up a Skype call so they can wander about with us! We can use Google Maps to show us where animals we’re interacting with come from.  More info on how to do that here. Maybe the kids back at school could send us questions that we can find the answers to based on the hash tag comments?  Oh the possibilities!

This is going to be great.. really, really great.

I’m working on the scavenger hunt now.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t see that many animals out and about.  This time of year, with the weather so up and down, many prefer to stay in dark, quiet corners.  Hopefully, they’ll come out to visit while we’re there.  We’ll have a very techie good time on our trip.  I’ll keep you posted.

Do you conduct virtual field trips?  How do you connect all the students there with those who can’t make the trip?  What cool tools do you use to make the trip techie?