Google and Apple Offer Two New Ways to Take Virtual Field Trips
We’ve written before about some of the options online for taking kids on memorable, educational virtual field trips. With two exciting new options from two of the most innovative companies around, it’s time to revisit this favorite educational resource.
Explore the World with Street View Treks
With their Connected Classrooms tool, Google offered a groundbreaking way for classrooms to use Hangouts for virtual field trips. Now, a new feature in their popular Maps tool offers a new way for students to explore the world by taking their Street View functionality a step further (literally.)
“Trekkers” with cameras strapped to their backs travel on foot where the Street View cars can’t, offering us a look at some of the most amazing places in the world. From historical sites like the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, to natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Mt. Everest, Street View Treks offers 360° views of some of the most incredible places in the world. But the interactive site doesn’t just show users pretty pictures. It also includes a great deal of context and historical and scientific information, making it a truly useful educational tool.
For instance, students studying the Pyramids of Giza or Darwin’s discoveries on the Galapagos Islands can actually see and explore the areas via Treks, a much more immersive and impactful experience than simply reading about them.
Discover Virtual Field Trips in iTunes
For Apple users, iTunes offers a nice collection of virtual field trip options, including videos, lectures, full courses, and apps from some of the most famous museums and institutions around the world. Topics include history, art, science, and much more. Best of all, much of the content is free.
The easiest way to see the complete collection is from the desktop version of iTunes. From the iTunes Store, click on iTunes U, then click on Virtual Field Trips under Featured Collections. You can also use the iTunes U app and search “virtual field trips” to find some of the courses available.
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Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.