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Virtual Fieldtrips Are Seriously Amazing

posted Apr 24, 2014, 1:41 PM by Kate Petty
Written by Kate Petty

Andrew Moriates at Mission Viejo High School in Southern California gave me a unique opportunity to visit his classroom as they did a Google Hangout with the Chicago Bulls front office and a CBS News anchor in Wisconsin.

WHAT??? You ask!!

What is Connected Classrooms?

Yes, the G+ Community Connected Classrooms is in full swing as they connect classrooms, businesses, and places with each other to virtually meet people and see places that they wouldn't normally get to see all because of Google Hangouts.

I had my first experience with a virtual field-trip as I showed a small group of teachers in my district the Connected Classrooms Community. We saw Cameron Young take schools on a trip in Colorado to explore snakes via a Google Hangout. It was exhilarating to see the eyes of my small teacher group light up when they realized how easily they could transport their students anywhere.

Today Mr. Moriates connected his class to a hangout where Google's Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap, was moderating Hangouts with several schools throughout the day. If a teacher was not chosen to actually be live in the Hangout, his/her class was able to watch as a third party and ask questions in a chat box virtually.

Surprises From the Experience

The tech aspect of connecting went really well. There were no hiccups connecting to the Hangouts or communicating with the participants. I believe that if you brace for the worst, you are pleasantly surprised- that was the case today!
The students asked really interesting questions.To the Bulls: "What kind of education did you need to get where you are?"  and to CBS: "Do you do anything to alleviate stress right before you broadcast?"  

Jealousy:

I wish this could have been around 20 years ago.
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