Monday, May 15, 2017

Virtual Field Trips - Skype in the Classroom

Take your students on an adventure without leaving the classroom. 

Visit experts in the field all around the world! Resources for K-12

Melissa McCoy an LPS educator at Franklin elementary school did just that. 

Using the resource Skype in the Classroom she connected what students were studying (animal habitats) to experts in the field that could help make deeper connections for students in the real world. 

The first-grade team at Franklin Elementary began a unit in which each student chose their own animal to research. Students read and studied their animal to write a book teaching their readers about their animal's diet, habitat, predators, prey, and appearance. We wanted to take this unit even further by integrating technology in a new way by going on a virtual field trip. Each class had the opportunity to visit a turtle hospital in Marathon, FL and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in WY. In each field trip, students were given an opportunity to discuss and learn from an expert about different animals. 

At the Turtle Hospital, students learned about sea turtles, their diet, habitat, and appearance, and had the chance to see many of the turtles who reside in the hospital. 

At the Buffalo Bill Center, students had the opportunity to learn about the habitats and animals found in Yellowstone National Park. They were taken through the museum to learn about the animals in the exhibit and the adaptations many of the animals have to be able to survive in their habitat. 

It was an incredible learning experience for the students to practice speaking and listening skills and to think of thoughtful questions to ask the experts. 

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