Virtual Field Tripsclipboard_VFT.jpg

Date of training session: September 13, 2010 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. in PAHS Dell Lab 216
Session Description:
Virtual Field Trips
Using Internet resources and multimedia content, design a “virtual field trip, for your students. A virtual field trip, also known as e-trip or web tour, is using the Web for a guided and systematic exploration of information about a particular topic. Virtual field trips make excellent Web-based educational integration activities. Become familiar with the strategies and resources that educators use to design these field trips, as well as tips and tricks to ensure their success. Create an effective and engaging virtual field trip that is aligned to state standards. Teach students curricular content in a very 21st century way!



Virtual field trips are 21st century ways to connect the curricular content with the real world. Virtual field trips provide students not only with an experience that enhances the concepts learned in class but also with opportunities to develop digital literacy. After the virtual field trip is completed by all the students in the classroom, the teacher can bring the students together to reflect on the virtual experience. Adding in multimedia such as music, narration, animation, video, and graphics, as well as interaction with the elements of the virtual field trip, activates learning for the millennial student.

Shift Happens Narrated


1. What is a virtual field trip?
2. Become familiar with the different types of virtual field trips
3. Become familiar with finding and using multimedia music, sound, narration, graphics, animated graphics, video, maps, interactive content, and webcams) to include in virtual field trips
4. Develop strategies to align a virtual field trip to curriculum and state standards
5. Understand how to use Microsoft PowerPoint to create and present a virtual field trip to students
6. Develop tools to evaluate and assess virtual field trips

Components of a Virtual Field Trip (VFT):

  1. Trip Journal - this is the student documentation and formative assessment
  2. Virtual Visit - complete with learning objective or essential question, state standards, glossary, links, and multimedia
  3. Evaluation - always collect feedback on the learning power of the virtual field trip from students and colleagues

Note: Assessment should follow the unit content that the VFT supplemented - a summative assessment of the curricular content that the VFT enhanced; it should not just be an assessment of what was only learned in the VFT

Best Practices:

Fun Virtual Field Trips - why virtual field trips are a good alternative to a conventional field trip?
Creating Animations in PowerPoint to Support Student Learning & Engagement - article by Dr. Michael Ruffini, Bloomsburg University on EDUCAUSE
Virtual Field Trip Permission Slip - send home to parents, just like you would prior to a traditional field trip to get parents and students to exchange dialog about the virtual field trip; for elementary or middle level students
Get Outta Class with Virtual Field Trips - an article by Sherril Steele-Carlin
Education World
t|h|e Journal - A Virtual Ticket to Ride by Michael Bowker, an interactive journal 410px-US_Diplomatic_Passport.jpg
Creating a Webquest: It's Easier than You Think - by Linda Starr, Education World
Web Quests in our Future: The Teacher's Role in Cyberspace - by Kathy Schrock

Use Virtual Field Trips (VFT) for:

  • collaborative assignments
  • showcasing student learning by having students create their own VFTa class experience using an interactive whiteboard
  • introducing a new unit to build prior knowledge & activate interest
  • culminating a unit to summarize knowledge
  • offering a real world experience to your curricular content
  • exploring an interest of the students linked to your curriculum
  • a pre-field trip activity -to prepare when taking your students on a field trip outside the classroom
  • a post-field trip activity - wrap-up the trip with an activity to "bring it all together" and share students' learning, experiences, and reflections
  • linking up with another classroom of students around the globe and create a virtual field trip exchange
  • providing students with information about areas and locations that they are unable to visit as a class due to financial or distance limitations
  • opening up a trip to students that the teacher took to share the experience for students to connect the content to the real world

Tips for Virtual Field Trips (VFT):

  • Make sure all sites are appropriate for school and for level
  • Know that planning and creating a virtual field trip takes time
  • After it is created, monitor the VFT by checking to see that all the site links are active
  • Make sure your VFT has a clearly defined purpose & learning objective
  • Go through it a day before your students. Make sure all links are active and not filtered by your school's network
  • Have students document their findings on a separate paper or word processing file; ask questions throughout the VFT to guide & inspire learning
  • Use flash animations in your virtual field trip
  • Use webcams in your virtual field trip
  • Add as many stimuli to satisfy auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning opportunities to meet all students' learning preferences

Virtual Field Trip PowerPoint Templates

Adapting Virtual Adventures
Presentation Magazine VFT Templates
Virtual Museums - complete with directions on how to create 3D rooms, templates, and examples by Keith Valley Middle School

Sites to Use to Build Virtual Field Trips

Bernie Dodge's Create a Webquest - San Diego University

Web Media:

Content ~

CybraryMan - a site full of teacher resources for any level and any discipline; filled with links of good content to integrate into your virtual field trip
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Expeditions ~


Video Conferencing Exchange

Images ~

Dreamstimes - for free stock images and photos
FlashEarth - Create pictures like GoogleEarth by centering an image, taking a printscreen, paste into Paint, select the area you want to crop out the "unwanted" and then save as a jpg to use in your virtual field trip; click on MS labels on left hand side and type address in Place to Explore:
Kitzu - copyright-free pictures, movies, and music
4 Free Photos
Flickr Creative Commons

Animated Images ~

AnimationFactory - this requires a membership fee
ImageChef - create custom animated or non-animated graphics

Music & Sound ~

Blabberize - make your pictures talk
Vozme - turn text to speech
GCast - record your voice and create an mp3 file
Internet Archive
CCMixter - Creative Commons music files
CC Search - by Creative Commons
JamStudio - create your own music
Jamendo - free music
Jitterbug - music designed for elementary children
Kitzu - copyright-free pictures, movies, and music
EducationalRap - rap songs to learn concepts
Moby Gratis
Jonathan Roberts
Jimmy Gelhaar

Sound ~

Sound Effects
Absolute Sound Effects Archive
The Free Sound Project

Video ~

DiscoveryEducation Streaming
Internet Archive
Icarus Project Air Balloon Videos
Kitzu - copyright-free pictures, movies, and music
Learn 360
Partners in Rhyme

CogDogRoo's Very Long List of Images, Video, Music, & Sound Public Domain files

Map Resources ~

Google Maps
Graphic Maps
Maps that Teach
Maps On Us

Interactive Content ~

Ancient Egypt

dreamstimefree_370462.jpgWebcams ~

ManyCam - when you create the webcam
Incredible Art Stuff - webcams and videos about art
EarthCam - many webcams around the world
Education World - scroll down to bottom of page for webcam links
Opentopia - a list of many webcams
Webcam Central - more webcams
List of Webcams

Using Webcams in the Classroom Tips

Fair Use Guidelines:

Copyright & Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers Chart
Stanford University Copyright & Fair Use Resource


NoodleTrip - a search engine for virtual field trips; requires membership
Google Lit Trips - created with Google Earth
SimpleK12 - many virtual field trips in many different content areas - electronic virtual field trips from University of Pittsburgh
Utah Education Network - Take a virtual field trip
eFieldTrips - "Removing Classroom Walls....Opening Windows to our World"
Walter McKenzie's Innovating Teaching - virtual field trip archive
Internet4Classrooms - virtual field trip collection
The Teacher's Guide - virtual field trips - museums & exhibits
Tramline - virtual field trips
Techtrekers - virtual field trips
Virtual Field Trips - history and science; a great place to start planning with questions for different levels
Teacher Tap- digital and virtual field trips
Care Virtual Field Trips - defending dignity; fighting poverty
Homework Spot - K-12 virtual field trips
Thinkport - online field trips
Bright Ideas - 100 Incredible & Educational Virtual Tours You Don't Want to Miss
GlobalSchoolNet - completed online expeditions
The Math Forum @ Drexel - virtual field trips, a lot of math field trips are found here
MapACourse - many virtual field trip examples
Nine Planet Virtual Field Trip - by Dr. Michael Ruffini, Bloomsburg University
Trackstar Example - Washington Trip by Nancy Lee
Access Excellence VFTs -virtual dissections, labs, and field trips - Virtual field trip Quicktime movie examples
Eduweb - VFTs with beautiful graphics
Michigan 4-H Garden - VFT by Michigan State University Communication Tech Lab
Farming VFT - by Virginia Cooperative Extension & Virginia 4-H
Going on a Field Trip - PowerPoint examples
Virtual Museums - complete with directions on how to create 3D rooms, templates, and examples by Keith Valley Middle School
Peru Spanish VFT - complete with journal and guides; student-created
CARE VFT Archive - Spanish virtual field trips
Virtual Field Trip to Spain - by Allysen Clancy
Virtual Field Trip Planning for Spanish Classes - by Kim Tohill, Kate Travelpiece, and Nicole Linn
teAchnology - many webquests!


Designing Virtual Field Trips - according to the systems approach on
Walter McKenzie's Innovating Teaching - virtual field trips guidelines


Kathy Schrock's Rubric List - many rubrics to choose from in assessing students' learning
Kathy Schrock's Virtual Field Trip Evaluation - evaluate your virtual field trips


Virtual Field Trips Professional Development Introduction Show

My Cell Phones in the Classroom Virtual Field Trip

My Cell Phones in the Classroom VFT Travel Journal

Virtual Field Trip Planner

Virtual Field Trips by Dr. Michael Ruffini, Bloomsburg University

Creating a Virtual Field Trip Using MS Word

Virtual Field Trip Travel Journal

Virtual Field Trip Notepages


Evaluate this Session!

Need Help?

  • Email Melanie Wiscount ( with any questions you may have about using these technology tools in the classroom.
  • Check out my teacher website at: