Field trips are a lot of fun--it’s always wonderful to see the awe and amazement on a student’s face when they see giant turtles swimming in an aquarium, a science concept come to life, or the artifacts of a long-gone civilization.
It may be a long time before we can take in-person field trips again; however, you can replicate this awe and excitement using Screencastify. And when we return to in-person classes, creating digital field trips using Screencastify allows your students to explore the farthest reaches of the globe without ever leaving your classroom.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you create your own digital field trip, including places for you and your students to explore from the comfort of your own homes.
Planning Your Digital Field Trip
The first step is choosing a location to explore. For example, I’m going to present a tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Guiding students on a tour of the museum
Leading students on a guided tour is as easy as starting a Browser Tab or Desktop recording with Screencastify. A browser tab or desktop recording allows you to walk your students through exhibits. You can also embed your webcam in the corner so students can see your face, and the audio recording function allows you to narrate your trip through the museum.
Allow your students to take YOU on a guided tour
To put the field trip in the hands of your students, you can ask them to take you on a tour of an exhibit of their choice. This is a great opportunity to pair the virtual field trip with an assignment, end of unit assessment, or to help students get started using Screencastify on their own.
Ready to start exploring the world from your computer? Check out some of these museums and landmarks that offer virtual access and tours.
Places to Explore
For Museum and Art Lovers
Run by the Google Cultural Institute, Google Arts & Culture provides free, virtual access to a number of museums and cultural heritage sites worldwide.
- Musée d'Orsay in Paris: See works by Degas and Renoir, and take a virtual tour.
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam: View two online exhibits and learn about more than 100 pieces by Van Gogh.
- The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles: View nearly 16,000 pieces from the Getty's collection
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City: Peruse 26 online exhibits and over 200,000-plus items from the Met's collection.
- Château de Versailles in Paris: View an eight-part exhibit and learn about nearly 400 works of art.
- Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: See works by Dutch greats like Rembrandt and Vermeer.
- See a full list of museums, exhibits, and sites here.
For Science and Nature Enthusiasts
- NASA runs virtual tours of its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and Mission Operations at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
- Zoos and aquariums nationwide have animal cams that live stream what the critters are doing. Some of the institutions include: San Diego Zoo, Smithsonian National Zoo in Washingto, Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta,
- Google Arts & Culture has 360-degree virtual reality tours of several national parks and several online exhibits from parks nationwide. Check it all out here.