Common Sense


Virtual Field Trip Apps and Websites

Field trips are informal learning experiences that get students out into the world, exploring the world and students' interests. Trips to museums, parks, historical sites, and more show students that learning (and life) happens outside the classroom, too. During field trips, students discover new things and learn in authentic environments, placing classroom content into new contexts. Unfortunately, for many schools and students, field trips are rare (if they happen at al). Thankfully, there are great games, apps, and websites that can bring places and experiences fostered by field trips to the classroom. While not an outright replacement, these field trip tools can offer inspiring and intriguing experiences for students.

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Virtual Reality Experiences

Google Views

Spinning panoramas mesmerize viewers, play well with other Google apps

Bottom line: Use this tool to find winning, wonderful locations, integrate with other Google tools, then return to the meat of your lesson planning.

Discovery VR

Immersive videos let students enter the magical world of VR

Bottom line: VR videos will grab the viewer's attention; just be sure to carefully select the content for your class.


Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom

Bottom line: With stunning scenes and a flexible delivery method, your students will thank you for journeying together through space and time.

NYT VR - Virtual Reality Stories from the NYTimes

Immersive 360-degree videos take users inside the headlines

Bottom line: Though there isn't much explicit learning content, there's immense value in the extraordinary opportunity to take a walk in someone else's world.

On-the-Ground Reporting and Journalism

Detour - Immersive Audio Walking Tours

Great location-based history but presents implementation challenges

Bottom line: A compelling way to learn local history, but no classroom support and ultimately dependent on physical access to the tours.


Bring real-world stories from public radio into the classroom

Bottom line: A fantastic resource that brings both historical and current event public radio stories into the classroom.


From the everyday to the extraordinary, personal interviews get kids listening

Bottom line: It's a great resource to help demonstrate the value of listening and the importance of storytelling and interviewing skills.

NPR: Borderland

Illuminating, up-close-and-personal visit to the U.S.-Mexico border

Bottom line: As a truly unique resource that's worth using, teachers will need to create lessons that scaffold students' understanding of the complex issues found within.

Online Museums

Asian Art Museum

Inventive lessons and activities integrate Asian history, art, and more

Bottom line: It offers an in-depth look at Asia’s influence on art and history and provides lots of creative tools for educators.

Lawrence Hall of Science: 24/7 Science

First-class site for science games and investigations

Bottom line: These well-designed and highly educational activities challenge and engage kids in all the right ways.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Powerful stories and media centralize African-American history

Bottom line: While there aren't ready-to-go curricular materials, this modern, well-curated, and well-contextualized digital collection is sure to inspire compelling lessons.

MoMA Art Lab

Interactive projects, cool prompts, and famous works inspire creation

Bottom line: The overall experience is very open-ended, making it easy to bounce between creating and exploring art.

Apprentice Architect: Foundation Louis Vuitton

Examine an architectural masterpiece from the comfort of the classroom

Bottom line: App has superb activities for kids who can visit the building themselves that are worthy enough for kids who can't, especially those interested in architecture.

National Geographic Education

Explore the fascinating, wide world with multimedia resources

Bottom line: It's a wonderful resource for anyone looking to learn more about science, geography, ecology, current events -- basically, the world we live in.

National Archives

Access U.S. history with treasure trove of docs, genealogy, and other resources

Bottom line: NARA's website wasn't designed for kids, but they can definitely use it to research and learn about history, genealogy, and the U.S. population and government.

Ford's Theatre

Online museum offers exhibits, resources on Abraham Lincoln, Civil War

Bottom line: The resources here will add depth to your teaching and boost students' interest for any study of Lincoln and the Civil War.

Google Arts & Culture

Excellent curation and an unmatched art collection invites exploration

Bottom line: A one-stop shop for a vast amount of compellingly curated and contextualized art, but it's lacking educator supports.


Science experiments and activities abound in this comprehensive resource

Bottom line: A host of mostly at-home activities are available if kids stick to the Explore tab of online resources.


Museum companion can stand alone as a modern art resource

Bottom line: Free access to a wealth of images with detailed commentary from artists and curators makes this a great arts education resource.


Media museum's site mixes history and civics, teaches about journalism

Bottom line: An effective summary and introduction to the media; more exercises and tools to help budding young journalists would make the site even more noteworthy.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Extensive resource collection supports teaching about the Holocaust

Bottom line: As a valuable resource for anyone teaching or learning about the Holocaust, time to explore and plan is necessary in order to make the materials effective.

Google Art Project

Massive online global collection makes art accesible to all

Bottom line: Extensive access to the world's cherished art collections gives teachers a glimpse at the future of arts education.

National WWII Museum

High-quality resources and activities offer an in-depth study

Bottom line: Materials and activities support a thorough study of World War II, making this a valuable resource for both teachers and students.

Other Tools and Resources


Compelling science videos have high-quality classroom applications

Bottom line: Stellar simulations, teacher guides, and other activities can stand on their own, and they're enhanced with high-quality video content.

California Academy of Sciences

Expert research and diverse, rich lessons inspire future scientists

Bottom line: A perfect companion to (or substitute for) the Academy, this site delivers highly interactive resources and research with a lot of depth.

Google Earth

Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom line: Google Earth offers less functionality than the PC version but still thrills.


Kids travel the world, cultivate global curiosity and responsibility

Bottom line: Kids get a sense of culture and global responsibility via kid-friendly articles and great multimedia.

GooseChase EDU

Digital scavenger hunts provide dynamic, fresh learning experiences

Bottom line: Students and teachers will enjoy the powerful learning of a modern scavenger hunt.

Google Lit Trips

Free virtual sightseeing tours let kids explore literary settings

Bottom line: A good starting point for extending students' engagement with the classroom’s most-used literary texts.

Google Treks

Cool tool uses maps to create fun projects, could use some updating

Bottom line: The site offers a good variety of subjects and grade levels, but project quality across the site could use more consistency.

Project Noah

Engaging online community for relevant, hands-on science fieldwork

Bottom line: Project Noah is a free and easy way to take part in biodiversity research with the support of a knowledgeable and global community.

Google Maps

Cool extras bolster top navigation app

Bottom line: Google Maps is an essential navigation tool that can empower students to explore their world.

Field Trip

With a few tweaks, nifty augmented reality app can be classroom-ready

Bottom line: Field Trip isn't as searchable as Google Earth, but it's a strong local resource.

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