I LOVE TRAVELLING!!!
An open road. A history I know nothing about. Colors and culture. People and places. Cobble-stoned streets and sand on the beach. A new mountain to climb. A view I have never seen. Breathing air that actually smells different. Oh, how I love to travel!
When I was young and single, without a care in the world, I worked hard so that I could travel. My goal was to see something new and fabulous at least once a year. I did this for several years and I will always enjoy the memories of those trips. But now, things have changed and unlimited travel is not possible. Still, don’t we all still dream of showing our children the world? Isn’t that one of the greatest gifts of homeschool? Imagine learning about the Great Wall of China while sitting on it! Or wading in the ocean as you learn about its’ depths!
I came across the idea of virtual field trips some time ago while researching for our homeschool. What an awesome idea!
A virtual field trip is a guided exploration through the world wide web that organizes a collection of pre-screened, thematically based web pages into a structured online learning experience. (Foley, 2003)
Virtual field trips vary dramatically in quality and presentation. Some are simply a series of web pages linked together in an organized way to guide you through a learning experience. Others are dramatic, visual feasts with videos, games and interactions. Of course there is often a strong imagination component, but with virtual field trips, there is really no limit as to where you can go!
I decided to make a compilation of the best virtual trips for my children. The virtual field trips that I chose, are ones that would fascinate my children and hold their attention. I was looking for beauty, and an interactive component as well. What I found was an absolute treasury!
- Adventure Aquarium
- Dairy Farm
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: Spectacular live cams
- National Aquarium: A great 360° tour from Baltimore, includes cams
- San Diego Zoo: This is a great interactive site with lots of information and adorable animal cams and videos
- Smithsonian Zoological Park: Several live cams of the animals in the zoo
- Virtual Farm Tours: Many different farming options to choose from
- Airpano: Beautiful 360° panoramas from around the world
- Ancient Egypt: Interactive exploration
- Antarctic: A series of stunning panoramics
- Big Bend National Park: Beautiful panoramas
- Buckingham Palace: Breathtaking virtual tours of several rooms
- Chateau de Versailles
- Denali National Park: This is an absolute gold mine of interactive panoramas from various locations throughout the park. It loads very slowly but it’s worth it!
- Eiffel Tower: Information and several 360°
- Holland: Country of tulips
- Grand Canyon National Park
- London, England
- Machu Picchu
- Montmatre Sacre Coeur Basilica: This is a narrated, guided tour with several different perspectives.
- Natural Wonders of the World
- Niagara Falls: Several panoramic views
- Ottawa, Canada: The beautiful capital city
- Palace of Versailles
- Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada: More from Google Maps,
- Pompeii, Italy: Multiple 360° panoramas of the ruins of this famous Italian city
- Redwood National Park
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Sistine Chapel: Virtual tour
- Stonehenge: Several 360° panoramas presented by Google Earth
- The China Guide: This is a actually a travel guide website, but is full of beautiful pictures and virtual tours, including the Great Wall of China, Beijing, Hong Kong and the Yangtze River
- Virtual Field Trips: Developed by Arizona State University, this is a mesmerizing collection of beautiful virtual tours including the Grand Canyon, a Panama Rainforest, Early Civilizations in Mexico and Shark Bay in Australia
- Yellowstone National Park
- Anne Frank’s House: A narrated virtual tour
- Chichen Itza: An interactive tour of the Mexican ruins
- First Thanksgiving: An interactive site including videos
- Gettysburg: Virtual history with tons of info
- Inside the White House
- Lincoln Memorial: Interactive site
- Little House on the Prairie: An absolutely charming tour that retraces the steps of Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Statue of Liberty: Virtual tour and information
- Titanic: A 3D simulated tour
- US Supreme Court
- The White House: A virtual tour featuring the rooms included in the public tour.
- Dinosaur Exhibit: Brought to you by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Museo Galileo: Located in Florence, Italy, this museum contains important instrument collections which are indications of scientific research by the Medici dynasty, then by the Grand Dukes of Lorraine.
- National Naval Aviation Museum: Over 100 panoramas to explore
- National Park Service: This is the site for the Museum Management Program which lists a large number of virtual museum exhibits
- New York Philharmonic KidZone: Interactive site to learn about orchestral instruments, composers, etc.
- Van Gogh: Virtual tour of his paintings
- Virtual Museum of Japanese Arts
- Frog: Virtual dissection
- Space Shuttle Discovery: At the Kennedy Space Station
- Virtual Body
- Visible Body: Learn anatomy in 3D
- How Does Government Affect Me: An interactive look at the role of government and community helpers
- Interactive Tour of Ellis Island
- Virtual Lab Series: Presented by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
- Mars: A simulation video that follows a rover all the way through space to Mars
- Solar System Tour: Nine Planets
- 360 Cities: Tons of panoramics from cities around the world
- Fullscreen 360: A collection of panoramas to enjoy
- Google Maps
- KET Electronic Field Trips: These are a little dated but are still useful. They include trips to the dentist, post-office, zoo, farms and museums
- Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood: Contains field trips and several videos on how things are made
- Smithsonian for Kids: This a very interactive website for students with several different subjects to explore
- World Tour 360: Virtual tours from all over the world
This list will updated as I get new ideas and suggestions, so if you know of a great Virtual Field Trip that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you in the comments!