Computing for Kids's Blog

Technology Integration Ideas for the Elementary School Teacher

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  • About Me

    I have been in the field of educational technology since 1988. I began as a computer teacher for Futurekids Inc. in Los Angeles. Soon after, I purchased one of their first franchises, which I operated for three years. In 1997, I began Computing for Kids, a computer enrichment program for young children, which operates in local private schools in Southern California. I earned a Master’s degree in educational technology in 2008 and for the past four years, I have served as the technology specialist at a private elementary school, teaching students in grades 1 – 5 in a computer lab setting.

    My goal with this blog is to provide elementary classroom teachers with Internet resources that will enhance their curriculum. Some websites are very simple to integrate into a lesson, and others require a more thorough approach. But there is something for every level of comfort with technology.

    Please let me know what you think!

Budget Issues? Try Virtual Field Trips

Posted by Computing for Kids on September 23, 2010

With budget concerns, there may not be the resources to provide many field trips for students.  But never fear, we have virtual field trips!  The obvious benefit of a virtual field trip is that it is free. You just need a computer with an Internet connection and willing participants. But beyond that, virtual field trips offer students a glimpse into a world beyond their own experiences.  Below are a sample of some wonderful virtual field trips.  Find one that meets the needs of your students and away you go!

Scholastic’s Global Trek is a way for students to travel around the world without ever having to leave their classroom.  When students arrive in the country of their choice, they are supplied with a suggested travel itinerary, which offers them links to background information about the country and its people.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/globaltrek/

Meet me at the Museum is an interactive adventure book that takes place in the Smithsonian Art Museum.  Students are introduced to American art and artists from the Smithsonian collection.

http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/midnight/default_flash.html

Google Street Views is a collection of views of famous landmarks, buildings, and art, sport, and entertainment venues from around the world.

http://www.google.co.uk/help/maps/streetview/gallery/#landmarks

Google Lit Trips is a new way to teach literature. Using Google Earth, students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place. This is interactive learning at its best!

http://www.googlelittrips.com/GoogleLit/K-5/K-5.html

The Smithsonian Virtual Museum is amazing.  Students enter the virtual world of the museum, viewing the exhibits as a 360 degree tour.

http://www.mnh.si.edu/panoramas/#

UPM Forest Life is a virtual field trip to a forest.  Students will learn about tree species, ecosystems, habitats, and animals.   This field trip gives students a realistic view of forest life. 

http://w3.upm-kymmene.com/upm/forestlife/#lang=0&pid=123&sid=8&hid=123

Planet in Action, with the help of Google Earth, lets students take a helicopter ride above such famous landmarks as the Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens, Manhattan, and Disneyland Paris.

http://planetinaction.com/places.htm

Colonial Williamsburg provides students will a realistic account of life in colonial times.  Using slideshows, videos and podcasts, students will see and hear about this important time in our country’s history.

http://www.history.org/media/index.cfm

Wiglington and Wenks is a virtual world created for students.  Students are dropped into the middle of a story where they become travelers to places around the world.  They meet historical characters, play brain games, build culture inspired houses, explore secret locations, and solve ancient mysteries.

http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com/

Wonder Rotunda transports students to destinations like the Great Barrier Reef, the African Serengeti, a tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, or the moon aboard Apollo 11. They can also travel through the human body, run their own business, and take a tour of Washington, D.C. and much more!

http://www.wonderrotunda.com/

Meet Me at the Corner is a collection of videos where students can learn about people, jobs, and places around the country.

http://www.meetmeatthecorner.org/episodes

Discover the Forest is a site that has fun games and activities for students to complete online and a great booklet to print out. Students can listen to animal sounds, create leaf rubbings, learn how to use a compass, and match animal tracks.

http://www.discovertheforest.org/

Digital Vaults lets students search photographs, documents, and other records.  Students can collect items to create their own digital poster or they can use them to make a movie.

http://www.digitalvaults.org/#/create/

More sites with lists of virtual field trips by subject:

E Field Trips: http://www.efieldtrips.org/index.cfm

Homework Spot Field Trips:  http://www.homeworkspot.com/fieldtrip/

Green Bytes Field Trips: http://www.greenek12.org/co/gbytes/index_files/Page504.htm

Utah Education Network Virutal Field Trips: http://www.uen.org/tours/

Oops Virtual Field Trips: http://www.oops.bizland.com/vtours.htm

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