Adapt Virtual Adventures
Adapt Virtual Field Trips
A journey is a person in itself; not two are alike.
Keep in mind that each person views their world differently. Children take very different photographs than adults because of their life experiences as well as their height.
In many cases you won't find a virtual field trip that meets your needs exactly. For example, you might identify a trip that is written at a higher reading level than your students. Or, it might not contain enough photographs for students to understand the context of the trip. Fear not. You can still use the website, just make some modification to your plan.
Use the ideas below to adapt a virtual field trip.
Take a Tour
If you want to experience what it would be like to go to a particular place, you probably want a virtual tour. These are often slide shows that use a map to guide you through a particular place.
Rather than a tour of a specific location, some field trips simply provide a library of information about the park, museum, or other place.
Rather than just "looking around," some virtual journeys organize information by time, place, or other other ways.
Many virtual field trips involve a sequence of activities such as stops on a trip, steps in a procedure, or a sequence of events.
Tell A Story
Consider using existing photographs, web resources, and materials to build your own project. Here are some ideas:
Day in the Life
Look for a "Day in the Life" of a particular person, character, place, or animal.
Journals and Travelogues
Some people enjoy sharing their ongoing adventures. For example, blogs are the latest fad in sharing daily adventures.
Travel Buddy Projects
Flat Stanley is a children's book character who travels through the mail visiting places around the world. Anyone can create their own project. Go to Teacher Tap: Travel Buddy Projects to learn how you can use this approach.
Comparisons are a great way for people to better understand a concept or place. For example, compare "then" and "now"
Compare two different time periods. Consider focusing on a particular aspect of the period rather than everything. Start with something local.
Make It Interactive
Involve readers in an online adventure. Ask users to answer questions or make choices. Use photos, maps, and buttons to make your trip come alive.
Use a map as the starting point to explore an area. Users click on the map to learn more about an area. The map could be a road map, park map, or simply a concept map or visual representation.
Ask users to make choices, click on photos, or match words and pictures. Choices may lead to correct answers or options to explore.
Rather than simply taking a virtual visit, some field trips ask you to work. You may become an archeology, historian, or geographer. These field trips may be organized as a WebQuest, game, or activity.
Although you may be able to go out and take your own photos, you may need to locate images for your field trips.
Use the following resources for starting points:
Adapt a Resource
Too often I would hear men boast only of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.
Use the ideas above and start thinking about your own trip. If you find a good starting point online, consider adapting it for your purposes.
Adapt a Template
Use an empty template and fill in it. Or, empty out a project created by someone else. Then fill it in with your materials. Here are four PowerPoint projects you can download use.
Adapt an Existing Trip
After doing a search for "bog virtual field trip," I located a great resource from Texas A&M. The website even encourages people to use the resource for educational purposes. Much of the information was too complex for my students, so I copied specific photographs and made a "Bog Starter" PowerPoint presentation.