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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 all). 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.

Virtual Reality Experiences

Nearpod

Engage and assess students with media, videos, and interactive slides

Bottom Line: This is a great tool with a vast content library, and the teacher- or student-paced learning can unlock the potential of 1-to-1 environments.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Apollo 11 VR

Thrilling VR experience needs creative teaching to truly soar

Bottom Line: If infused with good teaching, this cinematic experience can provide a rich, unforgettable adventure.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Paid

Roundme

Virtual tour library and creation site has limited classroom utility

Bottom Line: Tours have some potential for experiential learning, but the consumer focus means it'll take more work to find them and integrate them in the classroom.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Google Earth VR

Explore the world with an incredible new perspective and sense of scale

Bottom Line: An amazing experience that brings the world to life, despite the heavy investment in VR required.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Listenwise

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

StoryCorps

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Global Oneness Project

Captivating, cross-curricular stories increase cultural awareness

Bottom Line: Teachers looking to enrich their curriculum with high-quality, thought-provoking videos and photos will find plenty of inspiration, but may need to create or fine-tune some lessons.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: Pre-K–12
Price:
Free

National Geographic Education

Top geography resource site provides global exploration opportunities

Bottom Line: This is a must-bookmark site for classrooms across the curriculum hunting for inspiring place-based resources.

Grades: Pre-K–12
Price:
Free

Lawrence Hall of Science: 24/7 Science

Outdated site still useful for science games and investigations

Bottom Line: Many of these interesting and highly educational activities, though a bit disorganized, still challenge and engage kids in important ways.

Grades: K–5
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Epic science museum's site has unparalleled but disorganized content

Bottom Line: While it needs some updating and organizing, this is still an unmatched resource for the history of air travel and space flight.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free

Ford's Theatre

Site famous for its Lincoln assassination resources has more to offer

Bottom Line: This site can support meaningful, primary source-driven examination of some of the most important events in U.S. history, but educators will need to dig a little.

Grades: 5–12
Price:
Free

Google Arts & Culture

Well-curated art and history site inspires curious learning

Bottom Line: A beautifully presented one-stop shop for compellingly curated and contextualized art, history, and culture resources, but it's lacking educator supports.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Exploratorium

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 6–12
Price:

The National WWII Museum - New Orleans

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.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

Other Tools and Resources

Learn Around the World

Travel the world and learn from locals with live virtual field trips

Bottom Line: Unique way to take students on a world tour without actually leaving the classroom, but needs some basic technology and time zone coordination for best results.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free to try

NOVA

Compelling science videos have high-quality classroom applications

Bottom Line: Unparalleled science documentaries offer a window into real-world scientific topics in a high-interest way.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Google Earth

Dazzling globe-trotting tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom Line: This tool defines engagement and offers a completely open-ended experience perfect for use across the educational spectrum.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

Google Lit Trips

Google Earth-powered tours explore how stories and geography connect

Bottom Line: With some initial fiddling, this can be a good option to increase student interest in -- and add depth to -- literary study.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

Oddizzi

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.

Grades: 3–8
Price:
Free to try, Paid

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.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free

Google Maps

Hugely popular mapping tool has tons of learning potential

Bottom Line: This familiar tool can go beyond here to there and take kids to new educational destinations.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

Artsteps

Immersive virtual exhibit tool is attractive and versatile but fussy

Bottom Line: For teachers and students who can invest the time, Artsteps provides a compelling, free option for presenting and exploring images and audio of any kind.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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