Ah, the fieldtrip! Brings back memories, doesn’t it? Well, actually, the memory I always recall is not entirely a happy one. Sure the zoo was fun, but what I remember most was the bus breaking down, the monkey hitting my friend in the eye with a butterscotch candy and a dark-haired boy promptly throwing up when we walked into the hippo area. It was still fun, though, to get out of school for the day and explore what we were learning hands on. An opportunity for real-life engagement in the learning process. Unfortunately, with budget struggles, time constraints and often just a school’s rural location, fieldtrips are few and far between for many schools.
More and more schools, however, as I’ve written before, are finding ways to take virtual fieldtrips (or VFTs) allowing students to participate in the same live, interactive experience without bus rides, transportation costs and loss of instructional time. Read More »
Classes just got a little more interesting at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Sciences Po, an elite university in Paris.
A 65-student class dedicated to making students think critically about reimagining society, “Progressive Alternatives: Institutional Reconstruction Today,” is using telepresence to create a discussion that transcends three campuses located in different parts of the world.
According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the class is taught by Harvard Law School professor Roberto M. Unger and includes commentary from Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Laurence Tubiana, a professor from Sciences Po.
With its telepresence system, the instructors and class are able to interact in realtime. The first hour of the class is a lecture and comment from each professor and the remaining one hour allows times for questions and a lively discussion. Read More »
A great discussion here following a virtual fieldtrip (VFT) to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia by a 5th grade class at Augusta Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina, .
Cisco’s Dr. Lance Ford discusses the experience with one of the 5th grade students and her father who also attended the VFT.
Margaret Murphy, the 5th grade teacher who planned the VFT had this to say:
“Extending an opportunity to students to (voluntarily) come to school and immerse themselves in a foreign ecosystem is an amazing new method to reach our children….Not only did our students leave asking and thinking of more questions than they ever knew about the Great Barrier Reef, they were probing their parents to answer questions that the parents have never considered before. I have received more parental and student feedback on this VFT than I have on our three day (face-to-face) field trip to a South Carolina ecosystem.” Read More…
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