Monday, 19 March 2018

A Virtual Field Trip?

Last week, my students embarked on their first Virtual Field Trip through Learnz.  I initially found out about the virtual field trip program after attending a session at ULearn in 2017 (click here to see my notes from the session). 

Keeping with our school theme for the year "Kaitiakitanga i ngā wā katoa" I decided that we would try the Sustainable Seas field trip.  Unfortunately, due to the timing of the actual 'live' field trip we were unable to participate.  However, I decided that we would do it on our own the week (or two) after we returned from our year 5/6 camp. 


The students were given a slides presentation, and were asked to work in a group of 2-3, especially at the beginning of the week to complete the readings, quizzes and learning task for each.   It took them a VERY long time in the beginning to get going, but I think now that they understand the process they are enjoying working at the own pace exploring deeper into the field trip as planned. 


One of the learning tasks that I gave the students while reading each text (or watching the videos) was to list the unknown/new vocabulary words that they came across.  When stopped to discuss these words with the group, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the words they chose to write down were not the ones I expected to hear.  This was awesome to see because it meant that they were using the embedded tool on the site that provided difficult (topic specific) words in a different colour.  Students are able to hover over the words and have a definition pop up on the screen immediately. 


Students were also able to listen to the text while reading along, which is an awesome tool especially for those new hard to read vocabulary words. 



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