| Eduscapes | Home | Reading | Writing | Math | Inferential Thinking | Virtual Experiences | Specials |

Virtual Experiences:
Field Trips & Simulations

SimulatorWe'd love to take our children on a trip to the great art and science museums of the world, explore the ocean bottom, or visit the earth's core. Whether it's the cost of a bus trip or the danger of a trip into outer space, sometimes a virtual field trip or simulation is more realistic.

Let's explore virtual experiences for your classroom:

Open Call-Out Starter. Create call-out bubbles. What would this person say about this place? Open More Call-Outs. Create an assignment for one of the photos.


Virtual Field Trips

man looking at mapTurn a simple website into a virtual field trip by designing engaging off computer activities including tickets, maps, and travel itineraries. Many virtual fieldtrips are produced by professionals; however also explore virtual field trips made by kids, for kids.

Go to Coal Creek Virtual Field Trip to see virtual field trips created by elementary children.


A Walk in the Woods from Illinois sound
Journey North - follow wildlife migration
Life in the Whitehouse


Children's Garden
Go George Go from PBS Kids


Alaska Volcano Observatory
CritterCam from National Geographic
Field Trip Earth
Global Trek from Scholastic
Historic Philadelphia
Interactive Tour of Ellis Island from Scholastic
National Register Travel Itineraries
Rainforest Rescue
Scholastic Explorers from Scholastic
Science Expedition from Scholastic
Underground Adventure Virtual Tour


Columbia River from National Geographic
Destination: International Space Station
Eternal Egypt
Great Barrier Reef from National Geographic
Monterey Bay from National Geographic
The New Suburb from National Geographic
Rainforest at Night from National Geographic
Surviving Everest
Traditions of the Sun

For more ideas for all ages, go to Teacher Tap: Digital and Virtual Field Trips, Museums, Libraries.

Use a web template to create a virtual experience.

Build a virtual field trip. First, explore photos for ideas. Second, use one of the templates to create the experience. Third, record narration. Fourth, design an activity where students would be involved in creating their own.


tripSimulations help students apply their skills to "real life" situations by providing an environment to manipulate variables, examine relationships, and make decisions. They are generally used after initial instruction as part of application, review, or remediation.

There are many types of simulations. Physical simulations involve students in using objects or machines such as microscopes or airplanes. Procedural simulations involve a series of actions or steps such as medical diagnosis or frog dissection. Situational simulations involve critical incidents within particular settings such as interactions with customers. Process simulations involve decisionimaking skills related to topics such as economics, genetics, or geology. Students must choose among alternative paths.


Save the Egg from March of the Penguins
Colonial House Dress Me Up
Virtual Japanese Culture


Buffalo Hide Painting
Build an Island from NOVA
Building a Sod House
Build a Tree-Ring Timeline
Design a Panda Habitat from Smithsonian (Narrated or Not Narrated)
Habitat Adventure: Panda Challenge from Smithsonian (Narrated or Not Narrated)
Make a Tidepool from Monterey Bay Aquarium
My Pyramid - food pyramid
This Old Habitat
A Walk in the Forest from Smithsonian
Welcome to Bayville
Windward - weather and sailing race
You Be the Historian

Explore simulations. Discuss how you would build a classroom environment to immerse students in the simulation. What books, activities, and objects could be used to build into the learning environment?

Return to Top

Tools for Virtual Experiences

mapsHow can you bring the world into the classroom?

Live video cams, expert discussions, maps, and photographs can all help bring the outside world alive.


WebCams + Blogs

Increasingly, webcams are being combined with blogs. For example, WildCam Africa from National Geographic has a place where students can ask questions as they watch the cam as part of an ongoing blog. You can turn any webcam into this type of project by using a blog or even a journal activity.

The Internet provides access to live events and activities not available in local areas. For example, FalconCams are used by people around the world to monitor the activities of these beautiful birds. Many classrooms are participating in projects that get students actively involved in real-world science through observing these live cameras and monitoring the blogs. For example, a fifth grade group in California maintains a website for their falcon project. It included links to Native American folklore, student journal entries, activities, and even an email reply from the author of Frightful's Mountain, Jean Craighead George. Consider ways to provide students with experiences that would not be possible without technology. For example, students can use an incubator simulation see learn about the gestation of chickens.

Jean George's books

Design an activity that incorporates a live webcam, Google Earth or Google Local.

Return to Top

| Eduscapes | Home | Reading | Writing | Math | Inferential Thinking | Virtual Experiences | Specials |

Developed by Annette Lamb, 3/06.