So, what do you do when kids miss a field trip? Are those lessons lost for them? Well, I do two things:
1. Have a student blog about the experience. Check out this great account of our lessons from a recent trip to the Davidson College (NC) Ecological Preserve: http://pdsblogs.org/2011pdsapes8/2010/10/05/davidson-fieldtrip/
2. Make a Podcast/video version. I made this 18-minute recap a few years ago when I realized I would always have a few seniors gone for the day. I didn’t want them to miss key lessons on sampling techniques and experimental design. Students who can’t join us watch the video and complete a viewing guide worksheet to show me they’ve gotten some lessons from the virtual field trip. It will never replace the real thing, but it has helped a few kids successfully complete experimental design questions on my unit test. I made it with a digital camera and iMovie-its not the best quality, but it works. Then, I uploaded it to TeacherTube. I’ve uploaded other similar videos to YouTube also. Then, the videos are easy to embed in a wiki or blog like this!
I’d love to see examples of what other teachers are doing…