Replacing field trips with video conferences

Tuesday, November 27 2012

Most students will tell you that their favorite school days were the ones that included field trips. Instead of being cooped up in a classroom, kids are brought to another place, such as a museum or national park, to learn interactively and see live examples of what they've been taught in school.

Unfortunately, budgets constraints have limited the amount of field trips schools can go on each year. The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) found in a survey that 51 percent of respondents eliminated field trips during the 2010-11 academic year.

Video conferencing software gives administrators a cost-effective alternative to discontinuing the activities. A number of facilities, including NASA and the Baseball Hall of Fame, offer remote field trips, so students can visit without ever leaving their classrooms.

Online video software actually gives educators more opportunities to connect pupils with experts on any subject. Without remote technology, schools are limited to locations that are both affordable and nearby.

As more schools integrate new technology into their daily operations, students will be able to learn from leading minds from around the globe. While some pupils may long for the days when they were taken out of school, remote field trips may ultimately be more educational.