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College Street students take virtual field trip

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:15 pm

Fifth graders at College Street Elementary School got a chance to visit Washington D.C. Feb. 13.

However, thanks to Alabama Public Television and the IQ Learning Network the students never had to leave their desks.

Students participated in a virtual tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol.

According to the students’ teacher Jennifer Trott, reporters led the web tour through each location live in real time.

“It’s a web enabled video that you can link into from anywhere,” Trott said. “I heard about the tour after I received an email invitation from Alabama Public Television.”

Trott said once she accepted the invitation, she received several prepared lesson plans that covered information students would see at each of the tour stops.

Trott said her students were even able to interact with the tour guides via Twitter.

“They post questions during the program and you can tweet in an answer from your phone,” Trott said. “You can also tweet in questions for them to answer.”

The students were also able to ask questions of Alabama Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama’s 6th Congressional District.

It was also Bachus’ assistant who led the tour of the Capitol building.

“The kids loved it,” Trott said. “They thought it was just going to be video, but it was so much more.”

Trott has already taken another class on a virtual tour of United States founding father George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and says she plans to look for opportunities to use the technology in the future.

Schools across the country have started to use virtual field trips to engage students and to give them the opportunity to take trips, which otherwise, would not be possible.

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