Friday, June 01, 2007

Virtual Museum Tours for your students

The weather is cold. Just can't imagine taking that whole class onto a bus for another field trip?

Then take your class on a virtual field trip! Some of the best museums from around the world offer online tours and virtual activities for students of all ages.

A one-stop-shop for over 600 science and technology museums world-wide is the ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centres) website.

ASTC "is an organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science among increasingly diverse audiences. ASTC encourages excellence and innovation in informal science learning by serving and linking its members worldwide and advancing their common goals."

Search for museums within any country and you will find a list of all of the S&T museum web addresses worldwide just waiting for you and your students to explore them.

Well okay, so now you have some links that will take your students through a digital tour...but why use virtual field trips?

"Through electronic field trips, students also have the opportunity to connect, face-to-face and in "real time," with "real" people through video-conferencing."
"... electronic field trips give students a number of unique tools that enhance the field trip experience and follow-up activities based on the field trip."
"...electronic field trips are not subject to the same restrictions that constrain actual field trips."

Need some ideas on integrating VFTs into your lessons? Listed below are some websites with tips and ideas on how to use virtual field trips within your program.

  1. Virtual Adventures
  2. Internet 4 Classrooms - Virtual Field Trips
  3. Using Virtual Field Trips in Your Classroom
  4. Electronic Field Trips
  5. Guidelines for a Virtual Field Trip
  6. Virtual Field Trips....some lesson ideas

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