Field trips become old school
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 02:10
For those of us in college, field trips in grade school meant a day out of the norm. It meant taking a bus ride, packing a lunch and later coming home to tell your parents about the awesome place you went to that day. Today, a new form of field trips has taken the front seat.
Virtual field trips have become a new form of education for children in grade schools across America., this time through a computer screen on the Internet.
There is no worry about permission slips since children stay in their classrooms. They are exposed to several different places across the world, like a hurricane in the Caribbean that is affecting the coastline or a historical tour around the White House.
Talawanda High School began engaging in virtual field trips last year, according to Holli Morrish, Talawanda director of communications and public relations. Students engaged on virtual field trips to the Cincinnati Zoo as well as exploring a safari in Africa, Morrish said.
According to Morrish teachers are not taking an easy way out for field trips. The economy hasn’t been ideal for educational programs in the last five years, which has made it hard for schools to distribute funding.
“The lack of funding isn’t coming from parents, but the general school budget,” Morrish said.
“We don’t have the same spending privileges we had in the past. With budgets getting tighter and tighter, virtual field trips [are] an excellent way to still share fun and educational activities with students.”
Junior Lilly Sedacca said for her, field trips meant leaving the classroom.
“It’s unfortunate children aren’t getting the same exposure to certain places, like Cosi, a hands on science center in Ohio, but instead have their eyes glued to a computer,” Sedacca said.
First year, Ryan Jun, also said he believes that first hand experience is the most beneficial thing for a student.
“Physically going on a field trip can allow the student to interact more because there are no limitations on what they can see and do,” Jun said. “When you go on a ‘virtual field trip,’ they are limited.”