Online classroom events are now more accessible than ever. Educational experiences like virtual field trips are cost effective (read: FREE!) and offer students opportunities they might not have otherwise, like hearing from their favorite author or chatting with a zookeeper about black bear hibernation.
In February, Google launched Connected Classrooms, a platform for learning through digital field trips. Students and teachers in classrooms are able to join the field trips on the air through Google Hangout. The digital field trips are then recorded and posted on Google Plus.
Recent field trips on this platform included a Deep Dive Exosuit Exploration with Google Science Fair and Diamond Shadows: The Lost History of African-American Baseball.
The next Connected Classroom field trip, Imagining the Future, is scheduled for Thursday, March 6, and will be hosted by Imagine Science Films. On this virtual field trip, students will explore cutting-edge optic technology. Matthew Puttman, founder of Nanotronics, will discuss how everyday electronics, such as our cell phones and computers, are dependent on “visualizing the invisible on the nano scale.”
Scholastic also offers free, online classroom events, incuding Virtual Field Trips, Virtual Author Visits, and Literacy Events. The Scholastic classroom events work in tandem with free online and print materials. One recent Scholastic webcast included a story smashup with best-selling children’s authors Jeff Kinney and Dav Pilkey. On a Scholastic Virtual Field Trip, students go to Ellis Island, take an interactive virtual tour of the grounds, read about young immigrants, and explore immigration data, all through interconnected digital material.
With the wide range of digital events available, teachers and students have opportunities to explore new places without ever having to leave their classroom.