An Internet-based trip that students take individually, in small groups or as a whole class.
Why Virtual Fieldtrips?
To help students synthesize what they have learned on a class fieldtrip.
To prepare students for an upcoming fieldtrips
To students students with information about areas they are unable to visit as a class
To provide students with information about areas their teacher visited.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum gives teachers and students the opportunity to visit back into the 1930’s in preparation for reading To Kill a Mockingbird or any other historical based text from that time period.
http: //americanart . si .edu/education/picturing_the_1930s/
How Can we Tie Virtual Fieldtrips into English?
We can study language arts by virtually being exposed to art work that poses questions and formulates discussions on our selected topics.
10th grade language arts focuses on culture
Smithsonian Art Museum gives artistic insight into Native American, African American and Latino cultures
http: //americanart . si . edu/education/tours/themes/index . cfm #AA
How Do We Take a Virtual Fieldtrip?
A virtual tour held via video conference can be set up prior to lesson with the SAAM.
Possible Fieldtrip Locations
House Divided: Civil War
African American Artists America Signs & Symbols
Contemporary Craft: Clay Works
Found Object Artwork
Latino Art & Culture
Lure of the West
Reshaping American Life: 1930s
To See Is To Think: Visual Literacy
Recognizing Women Artists
Connecting Virtual Fieldtrips to English
Virtual fieldtrips to places like the SAAM promote visual literacy and media literacy, which improves literacy in general and writing skills.
“ Media literacy can also scaffold traditional literacies in both elementary and high school because it supports students in developing richer understandings of texts.”
Connecting Virtual Fieldtrips to English cont.
“ Medialiteracy is the ability to create personal meaning from the verbal and visual symbols we take in every day through television, radio, computers, newspapers and magazines,and,of course,advertising.It’s t he ability to choose and select,the ability to challenge and question, the ability to be conscious about what g oing on around us.”
Internet based instructional strategies . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://online.education.ufl.edu/file.php/4198/Strategies/strategiesoverview2007.html
Pace, B. (n.d.). Media literacy education . Retrieved from http://online.education.ufl.edu/file.php/4025/TMLwI_Intro_Chapter.pdf
It was important for me to show my colleagues what a great tool virtual fieldtrips can be.
I was able to tie in how virtual fieldtrips promote literacy through medialiteracy, which is a strategy that English teachers are trying to use more on a regular basis.
As secondary English teachers, it is crucial for my colleagues to see how a fieldtrip can be a literary resource.
My colleagues were very impressed with how simple it is to set a literary, yet artistic journey to establish prior knowledge before reading their literary work.
Colleague Perception cont.
One colleague felt as though taking a virtual fieldtrip was the same as sitting the kids down and making the look at a website, but once I explained that it is interactive and something for the class to do together, he did not seems as apprehensive.
One colleague found me after school to let me know that she searched the SAAM website and that she was already in contact with someone to set up a virtual fieldtrip.
My Virtual Fieldtrip Expansion
I expanded on the virtual fieldtrip by finding the SAAM site and exploring it’s usage and possibilities for Language Arts classrooms.
Language Arts is one of the most difficult subject areas to find fieldtrips in because the students don’t always find it as fun and hands on. Students do however like to discuss their viewpoints and interpretations, which is why the artwork becomes such a fundamental tool.
When we read novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird it helps for students to see and know what life was like in America during the 1930’s. What better way to get those images and information across to students, than by virtually taking them to the SAAM.