American History


Colonial Williamsburg
  • The purpose of this field trip is to allow the students to explore Colonial Williamsburg from the class room. This virtual field trip allows the students to travel back in time and see what life was like in Colonial Williamsburg when it was an active city. Students can actually see what the people of this time wore and how they interacted. They can get an idea of people’s different places in society and the different types of jobs that people had.
  • I feel that using the virtual tour could be even better then actually visiting colonial Williamsburg because it concentrates on the history there and eliminated the time one would spend wandering around. The virtual tour is very detailed, bright, and always sunny. By using a virtual tour the teacher would not have to worry about poor whether or getting an apathetic tour guide. One can also go on a virtual tour at anytime during the year, which is not really the case with Colonial Williamsburg.
  • A teacher should be aware that they are limited what is shown in the tour. Students can not really tangibly investigate things that they are interested in. One also should be aware that the virtual tour does not necessarily have all the excitement associated with it as does a real field trip. The virtual tour also only concentrates on the good things in colonial Williamsburg and doesn’t really look at aspects of colonial life that would be seen in a bad light today. It is very safe.
  • I feel like this is an overall good site. It is pretty interactive and does a good job entertaining while still educating its audience. I worry however that this virtual tour is too clean and in a way acts as an advertisement for colonial Williamsburg. I am not convinced that its main purpose is to educate students.

The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia (http://www.theconstitutional.com/tour.php)

  • What is the purpose of the field trip? What might students learn/experience?
    • This field trip is designed for students to explore the history of Philadelphia without actually going there. The main page is a map. When a student clicks on a building on the nap, he or she can see a picture of a building, and find out what important historical events happened there. One example is Congress hall, where the original U.S. Congress met, and also where Presidents George Washington and John Adams were inaugurated.
  • How might this compare with physically visiting the place?
    • This website is not nearly as good as actually experiencing Philadelphia, but it definitely works as a substitute if you can’t take your whole class. Visiting Philadelphia online rather than in person does take away some of the awe that comes from being in such a historical place, but as far as getting the information and seeing the buildings, it could be a satisfactory substitute to use in the classroom.
  • What might the teacher need to be aware of to use this effectively with her students?
    • A teacher should probably read through the content before assigning it to students, especially because the text is not exactly easy to read, as it is small and to the side.
  • What are your observations of the quality and content of the site?
    • The website is mainly intended as a guide for tourists to plan their own personal walking tours of Philadelphia, but it is definitely very useful as a virtual tour as well. The content seems reliable, and fairly in-depth, and the pictures and links are fairly high quality.

Virtual Jamestown

  • What is the purpose of the field trip? What might students learn/experience?
    • This goal is to educate students about the Jamestown settlement and provide a more complete understanding.
  • How might this compare with physically visiting the place?
    • The website has a lot of text and not many pictures, so it makes it difficult to imagine the actual place.
    • It does not compare with the impact of experiencing Jamestown
  • What might the teacher need to be aware of to use this effectively with her students?
    • The teacher should simplify. The sight is too broad, so the teacher should give links to specific pages within the site.
    • The teacher should also make sure students are competent readers
  • What are your observations of the quality and content of the site?
    • too much text
    • not very exciting to look at from a kid's perspective.
    • not very user friendly.
    • content is of high quality, but the website is not kid friendly or easy to use.

U.S. Government

Kids in the House

  • What is the purpose of the field trip? What might students learn/experience?
    • The purpose of this field trip is to explore the Capitol and learn about Congress and how laws are made. The students could learn fun and interesting facts about past presidents, how laws are made, what the Clerk does, how Congress works, etc. Also, there is a map of the Capitol Complex, and when the student clicks on a part of any of these maps a picture of that building comes up. Students can also explore the House Chamber, and the National Statuary Hall Collection. In the House Chamber section, students can explore all the important places and objects in the room. The National Statuary Hall Collection page has an option to choose your state so you can see which statues your state has contributed.
  • How might this compare with physically visiting the place?
    • While the pictures online are not as grand as in person, this website is a nice option because it allows kids to explore on their own, rather than in a guided tour on which some students might become distracted. It gives pretty good detail of the most interesting objects and buildings, and there is no fear of the students touching old paintings or antiques!
  • What might the teacher need to be aware of to use this effectively with her students?
    • The teacher should review the website and check out what information is on it, and what parts of it would be most useful for whatever lesson they are teaching. Also, there are actually suggested lesson plans on the site.
  • What are your observations of the quality and content of the site?
    • This seems like a high quality website. It has lots of fun facts and useful information, and it has enough structure to give the students all the information, while still giving kids freedom to explore on their own.


White House


  • What is the purpose of the field trip? What might students learn/experience?
    • The purpose is to learn about what happens in the white house, the architectural layout, and fun facts including pets in the white house.
    • This site is very factual based, and doesn't express the ambiance and experience of being in the white house.
  • How might this compare with physically visiting the place?
    • This site contains a lot of text and very few pictures, which is significantly different from being our a tour that would be auditory at the white house.
    • This does not seem to replace an actual visit to the site.
  • What might the teacher need to be aware of to use this effectively with her students?
    • This is very text heavy, so I would suggest that the teacher simplify it for her students.
    • The teacher should provide specific links for the students to read. It seems overwhelming to explore without instruction.
  • What are your observations of the quality and content of the site?
    • This does not take the place of a field trip. If i were a student, I would be very disappointed if this took the place of a field trip. This seems like everyday research or reading done online.
    • The context is good, but the excitement and layout is lacking.


Science
Ben and Jerry's Cow to Cone
http://www.benjerry.com/fun_stuff/cow_to_cone/

  • What is the purpose of the field trip? What might students learn/experience?
    • This "tour" teaches how ice cream is made at the Ben and Jerry's Factory.
    • This can be used in a science lesson about mixtures (chemistry).
  • How might this compare with physically visiting the place?
    • The video gives a pretty good idea of what happens.
    • This is not exactly like seeing cows and the actual factory, but most students have seen cows, and it isn't too different to see people work on video than it is to see them work in person.
  • What might the teacher need to be aware of to use this effectively with her students?
    • This might work best as a class activity.
    • It could be projected and experienced as a class activity. The teacher could pause and interject when necessary.
  • What are your observations of the quality and content of the site?
    • The quality and the context is strong.
    • It is colorful and seems to be engaging to students.
Rocky Mountain
http://www.rockymountainscenery.com/qtvr.html

  • The purpose of this field trip would be for students to observe and analyze the = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rocky Mountains. This virtual field trip allows students to actually determine the different feature of this mountain range as opposed to just being told what those characteristics are. This virtual tour is very hands on and actually allows students to navigate through different mountain peaks within the Rocky Mountains. This would allow for students to compare the Rocky Mountains in different areas and get an idea of how large this mountain range actually is.

  • I’m sure it would be an amazing experience to actually visit the Rocky Mountains, but it is completely impossible to get a class to the peaks of different mountains in the Rocky Mountains. This site allows students to view the mountain range from the top without actually having to exert much effort at all. This site also allows the class to cover a huge distance in a very short amount of time.
  • This virtual tour does not include talking. The teacher would have to make sure the students were actually observing the different characteristics and be the tour guide. The teacher would also need to stress the distance between the different peaks.
  • I really like this site. It allows the students to observe more independently and is more like an actual field trip rather then a show. I also like how it allows students to explore many different things that would honestly be impossible for an elementary class to see during the school year.


Original Concept for a Virtual Field Trip
The Great Barrier Reef


  • When you enter this website, you will see a realistic, underwater representation of the Great Barrier Reef. There will be a “enter” button to start your underwater adventure. After learning how to navigate the website, an audio clip will play giving basic facts about this interesting habitat. There will be representations of many different species which live in the Great Barrier Reef. Clicking on any one of these will cue a sound clip explaining the specific species (including many different fish and plants), their eating habits, and how the reef helps sustain them. Also a text box will come up for those students who are more capable readers. The website will consist entirely of an underwater simulation. If you move your mouse to the right side of the screen, you will move further right under water. If you move your mouse down, you will see those creatures that live deeper under the water, and up will show you the surface. When a student scrolls up to the surface of the water, they will learn about human influence on the reef, how we can be either harmful or beneficial. This website allows students to experience more fully how the Great Barrier Reef and its inhabitants function. This will give students a better understanding of underwater habitats, and allows them to experience something they otherwise would not be able to.