A field trip usually involves a bus ride, a specially packed lunch, etc. However, things have changed with the arrival of advanced technologies, so it’s high time to introduce students to virtual field trips (VFTs).
Through virtual field trips, educators will be able to take students beyond the four walls of the classroom to meet new people and have unforgettable experiences. In this article, we’ll learn about 6 smart strategies for virtual field trips in K-12 classrooms to improve learning.
Need for experiential Learning for K-12 Students
Over the years, we’ve come to realize that all students don’t learn the same way. Some are visual learners, some are auditory learners, and the list goes on. A classroom has all types of learners, and it’s not easy to identify the learning styles of all the students and teach them accordingly.
Luckily, various researches found out that learners of all types learn better through experiential learning. experiential learning is usually associated with higher education and internships, but it’s equally important for K-12 students.
It not only clears up the concepts for the learner but also fosters their critical thinking skills effectively. All the tech-driven K-12 content solutions aim at delivering experiential learning to students.
What are Virtual Field Trips?
Before we get into details regarding the strategies for virtual field trips, it’s important to know what they are and why they are being utilized and loved worldwide. The outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus has made some serious changes in the education system worldwide.
The pandemic made educators come up with innovative ideas to ensure that learning continues to be interesting for students, and a virtual field trip (VFT) is one way to do so.
Using virtual field trips is a great way to deliver curriculum to students as it is almost as engaging as regular field trips. The bonus is that virtual field trips are not limited by distance and are much more cost-effective compared to regular field trips.
Needless to say, students of all learning styles find virtual field trips useful as they are enriching and interactive.
6 Strategies for Virtual Field Trips
Education institutions should focus on creating and delivering the best K-12 learning solutions. It goes without saying that virtual field trips are one of the best ways to introduce K-12 learners to experiential learning.
Here are the top 6 strategies for virtual field trips to provide rich and immersive learning experiences to K-12 students.
Identify the Objective of the Field Trip
Just like you begin to teach a lesson with a particular aim, it is also crucial to do the same for the virtual field trips you organize. Before you start planning everything, think about what you want the students to take away from the field trip.
Planning with a particular goal in mind will help you provide the students with an unparalleled learning experience. This will also help you select the best location for your virtual field trip later.
Select the Virtual Field Trip
Once you have determined the objective of the virtual field trip, it is time to choose a location that will help you cover all the objectives while giving the learners a great experience.
There are endless options to choose from, and you can find the most suitable locations based on your subject by looking up virtual spots online. For example, if you are teaching students about the solar system, you can simply browse videos that briefly explain the whole topic while making them feel like they are present in the location.
This is one of the best things about virtual field trips because going to space would not have been an option if it were an in-person field trip.
Design an Engaging Experience
Even though there are various options to choose from on the internet, if you fail to find what you are searching for, you can collect all the resources to design a virtual field trip just the way you want. You won’t need to hire a professional to help you out; just using a few tech tools will do the job.
For example, you can create a panel where students can submit their questions regarding the topic of discussion before and during the field trip. Other than that, you can use engaging video formats to make the field trip even more appealing to students.
A 360-degree video is one such video format that is now a huge success as it helps the audience engage with the video on a deeper level. Therefore, it’s a brilliant idea to use this video format in your virtual field trips.
You might also like to read: eLearning Trends for K-12 Education in 2022
Use the KWL Strategy
KWL stands for “Know,” “Want to Know,” and “Learned,” and it is a very effective technique to teach students. In this technique, learners are asked about what they already know about a topic before being taught the topic in question in detail.
It has been proven that this method helps learners understand better and can be utilized in any learning situation, such as during classes, lectures, workshops, and even virtual field trips.
Before the trip begins, you can ask learners to share what they know and then start the field trip. Finish off the virtual field trip with follow-up questions for an effective learning session.
Encourage Students to Process and Document Their Learnings
Students remember best if they take notes when a topic is taught. The same thing happens during virtual field trips. Even though virtual field trips are already engaging, the students will remember the topic longer if they document what they learned during or after the event.
So, encourage the students to document and take notes in between. This will come in handy when they are assigned projects on that topic.
Encourage Them to Demonstrate What They Learnt
A virtual field trip will only be successful if the students learn the main objectives behind the event. The best way to check whether the efforts are worth it is to ask them for demonstrations about their takeaways from the virtual field trips.
Assign this task to the learners once the field trip ends and examine how the students perform.
Even though the idea of virtual field trips (VFTs) is very new to the education system, there is no reason to find it overwhelming because both learners and educators are getting used to the changes.
To ease your work, digital content solution providers, such as HurixDigital, provide a wide range of eLearning services and technology solutions. Small steps and consistent efforts with proper planning and execution will assure success.