Tips for an effective Virtual Field Trip or Distance Learning Project
- If at all possible, orient the students to the technology beforehand so that they are less distracted by it and ready to learn from the videoconference.
- Have the students practice speaking loudly and clearly when asking questions.
- Prepare the students. If the site supplies materials, do all the pre conference activities as suggested. The more your students are informed about the material, the better it will go. Many field trips include lesson plans. If the site doesn't supply materials, then have your students prepare questions ahead of time.
- If students ask questions about the topic before the videoconference, suggest that this might be a good question to ask the presenter/author.
During the Videoconference
- Teachers: resist the urge to talk! Often students will quit talking when the teacher makes a comment or asks a question. Let the presenter lead the discussion. Save your comments for your students after the videoconference. UNLESS! Sometimes students are shy, and you could suggest questions for them to ask. Or if you are in a videoconference with more than one school, use the "mute" time to prompt students if necessary.
- Don't make the students take notes, unless the presenter is asking them to write something. This can distract them from the interaction.
After the Videoconference
- If any post activities have been provided by the presenter, do them with your students as a follow-up.
- Have the students write about what they learned and react to/evaluate the session. (Optional)