The global pandemic flashed us with many new innovations and experiences. Who would have thought that the year 2020 will become this eventful? The entire nation was forced to lock themselves up in their home to prevent the spread of the virus. Many big companies, schools & colleges, art galleries, movie theaters, training centers, and so on got shut after the government announced a complete lockdown in the country. Amidst all, physical events were hampered the most as gathering in-person became highly dangerous for people. This bought virtual events in a good light.
With the fast-evolving world, we just cannot sit ideally and wait for the situation to get better. During this time, we saw a high curve of advanced technologies emerging our way which led us to brilliant ideas. One such idea was a virtual field trip.
Remember the time when we used to go on educational trips to learn and venture in real-time. But after the unforeseen crisis of novel coronavirus, the field trips either got canceled or postponed. At such a point, event professionals had to figure out an extensive way to encourage and engage students from all around the world.
The good news is we did find a reasonable solution to continue going on exciting field trips but in a slightly different way- The virtual field trips. Now, most of you may not have heard about this term before. Don’t worry, this article will cover all your doubts while also leveraging technology that can become a better alternative to traditional field trips. So without any further ado, let’s get started!
WHAT ARE VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS?
Generally speaking, a virtual field trip is a visual and an audio tour of a field or a site that is conducted over a digital platform and is accessible to all the remote students. You can tune into the trip via 3 simple steps- You must have a strong web connection, you must have access to mobile or computer devices, and you must be in a comfortable space like home, or classrooms with minimum or no distractions.
A virtual field trip compiles a professional who is knowledgeable about the field and has a clear intent to teach. Being a teacher is important to get familiar with the latest tech tools in order to make your students understand the subject appropriately.
A virtual field trip allows flexibility to its students. They can easily visit the different areas of the field without indulging in any cost credentials. In fact, you could even interact with students living in different remote locations from the comfort and safety of their homes. Here know about virtual and hybrid events.
Now let’s find out how you can take a virtual field trip.
Taking an online field trip
In the current scenario when traditional field trips are not a sensible option, virtual field trips become a much safer and easier to conduct alternative. So, while taking an online field trip, make sure you have all the equipment handy and proper guidance to kick off your trip seamlessly. Here are a few tips to consider before taking up a virtual field trip:
1. Before you start promoting the trip, understand what brings you to host a virtual field trip? What type of field trip are you planning to organize. Is it relevant to the subject that you are teaching? And so on.
2. Set a specific goal on what you would like your students to achieve from the field trip. You can always ask opinions or share your thoughts with the class for a better understanding.
3. Run a few tests before you introduce the field topic to your students.
4. Prepare your students well in advance to ensure that they get ready for the field trip and the reason behind this educational trip.
5. Conduct a live session in case your student has any queries regarding the virtual field trip for better engagement.
6. Take time to do thorough research on the online field trip so that it perfectly matches your style of teaching and is completely relevant to your class.
Benefits of hosting a virtual field trip
● Connecting theories to the real-world practices
Students can connect their thoughts and theories which they concluded by reading books too practically via virtual field trip. Sometimes students face issues while understanding a new concept, a virtual field trip will compel them to think outside the box and motivate them to practice their formulated theories in real-time. This will enable them to understand the practicality of the subject while also helping them tackle certain situations which they might encounter in a virtual field trip.
● Worthwhile Learning
Students are always eager to learn and take part in activities that interest them. However, a physical field trip did not provide them accurate practical knowledge and the chances of getting distracted were very common. A virtual field trip ensures that they learn how to make practical decisions whilst enjoying the same. As VFT is a new concept for many it creates excitement and willingness to learn various topics via unique approaches. The monotonous approach of textbooks can be overcome through virtual field trips while simultaneously helping students understand applications of practical knowledge.
● Infinite Discoveries.
Virtual field trips have no traditional limitations such as traveling or hotel stay costs as the field trip takes place over the web. This gives flexibility to the students wherein they can navigate anywhere they wish to and explore the virtual field as much as they want. Teachers too have some privileges like choosing the place for their field trips, selecting the activities that will engage the students; essentially, they have the power to customize the entire look and feel of the virtual field trip.
● Affordable and comes with minimum formalities
There is no need to travel physically in a virtual field trip, the student exclusively witnesses the traveling place virtually. Not only does this save cost, but it also saves valuable time which would otherwise be invested in traveling. Relatively less cost and no need to travel means fewer formalities and authority to the students, this is the sort of privilege they desire. For the school, the need to arrange transport and security is not required as the field trip takes place over a digital virtual events platform.
Over to you.
A virtual field trip is a completely new way of learning experience. It has provided many dynamic and interactive opportunities to many students as it is easy to use and freely available. There are multiple forums used for VFTs over the internet today which will help you curate successful and innovative field trips of all time. We hope these tips and advantages of using a VFTs entices your remote learners and gives them a real-time experience.