Field trips have always been a great way for educators to get students out in the world, giving them a chance to really apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in a real-world context. Nothing can beat real-life experience, but not every school has the opportunity to take kids on big trips away from the classroom. As the next best thing, we’ve compiled a list of great digital resources you can use to go on amazing field trips without ever leaving the room.
A little over a year ago, Google announced the new ability for users of Google Maps to dive into a whole new area of the world – the ocean! 71% of Earth’s surface is ocean, and there’s a ton to learn about the vast ecosystems in the oceans across the globe. Next time you’re teaching your kids about ocean life, you can enjoy the chance to take a walk on the ocean floor and challenge your students to identify as many ocean plants and animals as they can. There are half a dozen ocean locations that you can click through using Google Maps Street View, from all around the world. Take a look – you’ll be as amazed as we were at the clarity and the striking vivacity of the images!
How about that other great uncharted area – space? It turns out that Google’s got you covered there, too, with amazing images from a variety of observatories and from the Hubble Space Telescope. This is a great tool for helping students grasp just how large a magnitude you’re talking about when you discuss outer space – the more you zoom in, the more you realize how huge the area that you’re exploring is. If this doesn’t inspire your students with a feeling of awe at the vast of the universe, we don’t know what will!
Teachers and students alike will get addicted to this fun world-wide guessing game. When you visit GeoGuessr, you’re set down at a random spot in Google’s Street View. You can then walk around as much as you want, checking out your surroundings, until you’re ready to make a guess as to where you are. Select the spot you think you’re at on the map, and see how close you were. This is a great game for students to apply all sorts of knowledge – geography, climate, language, ethnography, history, architecture, and culture all come into play while making your guess.
Though visiting a place online will always be the next best thing to being there, technology has enabled us to explore some places that traditional field trips never made possible – and whether it’s underwater, outer space, or in mystery location, it will be a trip that your students will never forget!
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