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Virtual Field Trips: Exploring the World from the Comfort of Your Own Home

Jan 03rd, 2014 | by NAPA Team


January 03rd, 2014

Ever wanted to climb Mount Everest and the Himalayas? What about touring the White House or visiting the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.? With today’s technology, it is now possible for anyone to take ‘trips’ around the world!
Field trips are a fun and exciting way to learn in ways that aren’t easily accessible at home or school. But financial, transportation, disability, and other circumstances can make it difficult for many to visit places around the world. Now, virtual field trips (field trips taken online) allow anyone with access to a computer, the opportunity to virtually visit places they may never get the chance to on their own!

Different websites offer different types of virtual field trips. The Great Wall of China, Niagara Falls, the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the North Pole are just a few of the popular virtual tours offered by AirPano.com. This website provides over 1,500 aerial panoramas including high-resolution 3-D tours, all available for free!
A similar website, EducateVia360.com, offers 360° tours of American locations like museums, aquariums, battlefields, etc. that allow students to experience these locations as if they were there! This is a great site to use if you’re willing to pay a small yearly subscription fee.
Other websites have virtual field trips that offer even more. Google+ has a program called Connected Classrooms that uses Hangouts On Air and Google Hangouts to connect with classrooms across the country. It offers interactive tours that include activities and allow students to ask questions to live participants. This service is free, however space is very limited and you must join their Connected Classrooms Community so be patient!
Google Earth also offers virtual field trips. Now with trips to the moon! Students can explore the surface of the moon, take tours of landing sights, zoom into 360° photos of astronaut footprints on the moon, and more! Who knew traveling to outer space could be so easy?!

Don’t let inconveniences or other difficulties prevent you from traveling the world. Virtual field trips are a great way for people of all ages and abilities to learn about and ‘visit’ places they only could dream about!

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