Traveling the World, Without So Much as a Hall Pass
Today's students are part of an awakening thanks to technology. Virtual field trips rely on interactive videoconferencing, the same technology that businesses have used for decades. A camera, projector, special hardware and Internet signal allow students to travel the globe without ever leaving the classroom. There are no limits anymore. They can truly go anywhere they want.
"Sitting in front of a video screen doesn't submerge the kids in the culture," said Shawna Bu Shell of the communication, computing and technology in education program of Teachers College at Columbia University. Ms. Bu Shell advises schools on the use of technology and stresses that virtual travel should be used in combination with a strong curriculum, so children will want to explore new and diverse worlds in person.
This article appeared in the March 25, 2007 edition of the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/25WEmain.html?_r=1&oref=sloginprevious page