Taking an in-person field trip is always the best choice. However, technology now allows us to take virtual field trips as well. During the current period, these online field trips are a great option to consider. The following are some interesting historical and cultural online virtual experiences you can do anytime. Check these out if you are a fan of online field trips and experiences.
These online field trip experiences are from across the world. They focus on bringing the viewer to a new place or having a new experience they might not otherwise have. There is a wide range of online field trip experiences; some are simple videos while others are interactive. The length of time you spend on each will depend on how interested you are in the topic. Many provide additional resources that allow you to learn even more.
A Virtual Field Trip to Machu Picchu, Peru
Eager home bound travellers can take a virtual field trip to Peru’s most famous site – Machu Picchu. This interactive online tour of Machu Picchu in Peru is a series of stunning 360-degree images that explore various areas around the historic site. You won’t want to miss Machu Picchu’s highest point and looking out over the edge of the walls. The virtual field trip includes a narrative guide with information on the architecture, history and even an introduction to some adorable resident alpacas.
The NYC Tenement Museum
This New York City Tenement Museum is housed in an actual tenement building. The museum is outfitted to the time period that it would have been inhabited. It is a great way to tell the stories of the people that lived there. The museum now hosts online visits to the museum via Zoom.
These tours are not free (unless you are a member of the museum) however the tours are excellent. However, you can find stories with images and history free online. As well, the podcast How to Be American, provides great information if you would rather not pay for a tour.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Animal lovers in the house? The Monterey Bay Aquarium not only has live cams available to explore their exhibits but offers narrated feedings regularly. During these, viewers can learn more about the animals and what they eat. You also can learn about the work that is being done at the aquarium. Other highlights of their digital page include the Giant Pacific Octopus and live cam footage of Monterey Bay.
The mission of this the Nature Conservatory is to protect and promote the environment through conservation work. The Nature Conservatory organization offers a virtual field trip series with topics such as water conservation, and climate change. There is also a curriculum for grade schoolers to use at home to further their understanding about the environment. Take advantage of the hands-on projects that they offer on download to take the learning offline.
National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is one of the best preservations of artifacts and storytelling around and about World War II in the US. They’ve also made many of their exhibits available to online visitors. When you enter the website, you can explore the various exhibits. Head to the students and teachers section to access the videos of virtual field trips. These are created with student reporters sharing some major events of World War II.
NASA Space Center
The Glenn Research Center is home to many of NASA’s research endeavours. Now you can be a part of it with NASA Space Center virtual tours and field trips. There are a wide range of walkthrough videos you can take with advanced information on each. Head to the ultra-high-definition video section for amazing videos of the sun, planets, moon phases and the work of NASA.
Did you know NASA has a TV station? You can view NASA TV at any time. The link provides a full list of the programs that they will be airing. Topics such as virtual tours of the Stennis Space Center, NASA Explorers, and features on the International Space Station are just a small sampling of what’s available.
Airbnb Online Experiences
If you’re willing to spend a little money, then the activities offered by Airbnb Online Experiences are worth considering. Classes like making pasta with real Italian grandmas or a Harry Potter’s London virtual tour. These are just a few of the unique virtual trips you can take.
Not all the online virtual experiences are kid-friendly, so keep that in mind. There is a handy filter to help you decide which experiences are a good fit for you and your group. The great part is that there is just about anything you can imagine available and many have a hands-on feature.
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House, the most visited attraction in The Netherlands, can now also be visited from home. This small apartment which housed 8 people from 1942 until 1944 when they were discovered and captured. Watch a video diary, explore the secret annex in VR, or look around the house in a 360-degree view. With the help of Google Arts and Culture the story of her life is also available in 20 languages.
Terra Cotta Warriors
Unearthed in 1974, the Terra Cotta Warriors are one of the most visited sites in China. If visiting China isn’t in the cards, they have created a virtual experience where you can see the warriors. The website is only viewable if you stay in the Chinese version site. Unfortunately the explanations are not readable unless you understand Mandarin. Click through the bottom tiles to explore different views and vantage points.
My Grandmother’s Lingo
My Grandmother’s Lingo is a fascinating 10-minute interactive journey where the user learns about the loss of aboriginal Australian languages. You’re given the opportunity to learn words in one of the disappearing languages. At the same time you are taken on a journey through the experience of the narrator.
One of the Western world’s oldest civilizations, the remnants of Ancient Greece come to life in this virtual exhibit presented by the Acropolis Museum. Visitors are taken inside the museum where they can click to walk around the displays. The bottom of the screen displays specific artifacts that can be clicked on to enlarge and learn more about.
The online virtual experiences can be paired with this video offering a walking tour of the nearby Parthenon. This will get you the full experience of Ancient Greece.
Wonders of India
The Arts and Culture page of Google has some really amazing resources. This page that is dedicated to the Wonders of India. Viewers can click on items like archival images, a 360 video of the landscapes of the country, walkthroughs of the iconic locations, and dozens more pages to explore.
Let me know if you have any suggestions for online field trips and online virtual experiences that I should add to this list.