Classroom Tips

Digital explorations: free resources for virtual field trips

Over the past year, educators worldwide have discovered the value of virtual learning. When in-person experiences aren't possible, the internet provides a way for students to continue their education with ease. But what about field trips? 

A good field trip is a great way to let children decompress and learn new things in an unfamiliar environment. Whether they're taking the field trip through school or summer camp, these trips are crucial learning experiences.

But can you take field trips when you have online classes? We think so. Keep reading to learn about a few great resources for virtual field trips for kids. 

1. Google Arts and Culture

The Google Arts and Culture site has become a valuable resource for teaching students of all ages about art and art history. It provides a true "museum" experience from the comfort of home. 

Google has also started including things like aquariums and space exhibits so you're no longer limited to the world of art. 

With the 360-degree view option, students can feel like they're seeing these exhibits in person, even when they're learning from a computer or tablet. 

2. Discovery Education

Discovery has always been committed to education, and this site is no exception. It provides great resources for teachers who may not be used to the virtual field trip experience, like guides and planned activities. 

These free virtual field trips allow students to explore the natural world. They'll see things that they'd never have access to in "real field trips," like the polar bear migration or the Mars landing. 

3. National Geographic 

Another frontrunner in the education sphere, National Geographic has provided resources for teachers to educate their students without having to travel. 

National Geographic has a YouTube channel full of immersive videos for you to show in your classroom regardless of whether you're doing in-person or online classes. They'll take students around the world. 

They even have planned events that you can "visit," making it feel more like a real field trip. 

4. City or country guessing games

The unfortunate reality is that virtual field trips don't often provide the same "fun factor" as real field trips. That said, there are ways for you to engage your students from the classroom.

There are several games to choose from. Geoguessr has been the most popular, but you will need to purchase a subscription (for $2.99 per month). This allows students to travel on their own time through a Google Streetview-style map until they can determine where they are. 

You can also use City Guesser. Your students will "travel" through a guided video and audio experience and try to guess their location. This one is free. 

This is great for teaching critical thinking skills, teaching students about different cultures, and having fun. 

5. What's the next virtual field trip? 

A virtual field trip doesn't have to be a boring field trip. By using these resources, anyone can create an immersive and fun trip to take students out of their normal classroom experience and into the vast world around them. In a time when real field trips aren't an option, the students will love these alternatives.

At Sawyer, we aim to provide insights and tools for educators to make their lives easier. We provide easy booking and class management tools for after-school programs and summer camps that streamline the process for teachers and parents alike. 

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