This week we took a look at various sources for virtual field trips. There were field trips for a plethora of factory tours and places around the world. Virtual Field Trips were created as a way to experience places that you cannot access from your school. Either the distance is too far, or, with all of the budget cuts that are affecting schools, there just is not money for trips. It opens up new experiences for our students from the convenience of our classrooms. This helps support the idea of constructivism, as long as you follow up with a hands on experience.
Constructivism requires both physical and mental involvement in a lesson (Bhattacharya & Han, 2001). A virtual field trip gives a new experience that student would not typically get with direct instruction. They get a demonstration where they would typically just get an explanation or lecture. Following this up with an activity where they can show what the field trip was telling them gives them the physical aspect they need to build their schema. One example is students could build a bike out of noodles after watching how a cycling company builds their bikes. Another example of a hands on extension would be students could create travel pamphlets of places they traveled to in a virtual field trip. There are endless possibilities to options of how to follow up a virtual field trip.
Bhattacharya, K.& Han, S. (2001). Piaget and cognitive development. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on
learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/