Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more Efficient!

Digital Vacations Without Leaving the School

Overview

It has come to the point in the year where more and more people are beginning to think about summer and the vacations that come along with it. Students are beginning to plan out their daily routines for their break. Then, some families are even beginning to plan vacations once school has concluded. But, if you're like most of us, you still have some school left. But, you have the option to take your students on a virtual field trip without leaving the classroom or worrying about permission slips!

Google's World Wonders

A really neat site that Google offers is Google's World Wonders site, put together by the Google Cultural Institute. This allows you to take your classes on virtual field trips using Google Street View and put your students "on location." You have the option of taking them to Independence Hall in Philadelphia or the Grand Canyon in Arizona, all in the same day! This site is packed with photos and Google Earth views that will provide you with a terrific avenue to introduce famous locations all over the world!

Discovery Education Field Trips

Quite similar to the Google World Wonders site is the Virtual Field trips from Discovery Education. This is a wonderful site allows students to cruise through the wonders of the world, but what sets this apart is that it goes beyond a virtual field trip. For example, there are articles categorized by subject that include virtual videos about various topics. For example, you can explore what the penguins tell us about our planet, and you can visit Auschwitz, all while traveling with Discovery Education.

GeoGuessr

GeoGuessr was mentioned last week as a neat site to direct students to when they complete their work early. But, it can also be beneficial for going on virtual field trips. WIth GeoGuessr, you're dropped in a mystery location on Google Maps and you have to figure out where you're located by moving around and looking at the scenery. This has the potential to be a terrific learning opportunity to transfer students from their desks to locations all over the globe!

Google Expeditions

Perhaps the absolute best virtual field trip program available is that of Google Expeditions. This experience takes students on massive trips around the globe, underwater, and above it all. There are panoramic pictures, as well as 360 degree views of the world's most spectacular places. The only downfall, if there must be one, is that this is best experienced using virtual reality goggles. Anything from Google cardboard to other glasses, they will transform the student from their current location to 360 degree paradise location that relates to content and offers a terrific experience. There is also an Expeditions kit that includes all of the fixin's to make this an unforgettable experience, but it does come at a hefty price tag.

Participate in a Mystery Hangout

In a Mystery Hangout, two classes connect via Google Hangouts (or sometimes Skype) and accomplish a given task. A common task, and the one that has been done frequently, was that the two classes had no idea where the other one was located. So, through a series of yes or no questions, each had to determine where the other class was located. Or, another one that has been fun in addition to the location is a mystery letter (for elementary students). Each class determines a letter, and through clues about its shape and location in the alphabet, has to determine the letter the other class has selected. This is an amazing opportunity for students to participate in, connect with another class, and learn about each other's location in the process!

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