Virtual Field Trips on Steroids

Bringing Curriculum to Life with the Expeditions App  Google Expeditions

Google has done it again. They’ve raised the bar and taken virtual field trips to a whole new level.  You can purchase the entire Google Expeditions Kit with a device for each student, but it’s extremely expensive.  Teachers rarely have that type of budget!  However, you could always write a grant or use sites like to get your project funded.

See the beginnings of grant writing hereGrant Proposal Outline       The Beginnings of a Grant


Google Expeditions at Best Buy

  • 30 students = $10,000
  • 20 students = $7,000
  • 10 students = $4,000

Pros: The phone screen splits in two, and feeds a slightly different image to the left and right eyes which gives the 3D effect. The accelerometers in the phone detect movement as you move your head around and adjust the view – so you can look all around, above and below you.  The overall effect is an amazingly immersive experience. Children could quickly be transported to another part of the world, and describe their experiences to the rest of the class.

Cons: The drawback of this technology is that it’s a single user experience – you are going to need lots of these devices to work with a whole class and costwise that’s probably out of the reach of schools right now. But using with small groups, rotating use through a lesson, could be an option.


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Totally Twitter

twitter 1twitter 2

Last year, at Hollywood Elementary School, I started my schools Twitter page (@Hollywood ES). ABC7 News Stormwatch team came in for an in-school “field trip” with my students to explain what a meteorologist does and how they do it. During their presentation, they live tweeted and shared photos and videos of the students. Parents were able to follow all the action on Twitter as well!

When looking at the ISTE Standards for my Johns Hopkins courses, I felt as though the Twitter page is a clear example of Standard 3.

 Standard 3: Model Digital-Age Work and Learning: Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

  1. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
  2. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation
  3. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats
  4. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

Have any of you started a Twitter page for your class as a way to share answers similar to TODAYSMEET? Or a way to curate current event information? Please share how you use Twitter in the classroom 🙂 



Mystery Skype – Social Studies and Global Awareness

Creating “global citizens” and “culturally aware citizens” is a huge push in education today. Students need to be able to have knowledge of the world around them and interact with people all over the globe. In order to get your students to be more globally aware, try MYSTERY SKYPE! Connect with schools in other countries 🙂 Students will be excited and engaged in Social Studies in no time! Click the link below to see how to roll it out.

mystery skype

Using Current Events in the Classroom to Create Globally Aware Students

FIRST, get your students excited about studying current events! Giving them a folder with a catchy cover page (see below) or making a booklet with this cover and recording pages can peek their interest!

current events book cover page

current events book cover page

SECOND, make sure your students have access to digital print or current events via newspapers, magazines, or TV. Many of my students didn’t have a computer at home last year or they had one, but didn’t know how to properly use it.  Therefore, when I would tell them to go to, they wouldn’t properly navigate about the page and because of MY poor assumptions, the quality of work was not what I expected.

THEREFORE, it is important to provide students with resources about HOW to access these current events and WHERE to access them OR time to find an article during class/at recess so that they can properly summarize the article and point out the WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY and HOW.

Below is an example of a short tutorial I gave my students:

current event links

Here are some wonderful links that you can print out and give to students (4 copies per page). They can glue it into their agenda book or keep it on their fridge.  Even putting a copy by the computer would be helpful.

current events and news links

Use the link below to see how I assess student’s current event write up. This rubric helped me easily, quickly, but accurately score them even though every current event was different.

current event rubric

Field Trips to Washington DC Without Leaving the Classroom

Lacking funds or the available resources to get your class to Washington DC, our nation’s capital? Your worry ends here! I’ve created a virtual field trip that can help you explore the region, landmarks, and museums without leaving the comfort of your own home, or classroom. Washington DC Virtual Field Trip