How virtual field trips are bringing animals, art, music and more direct,y to students

Challenge is to ‘find ways to connect, to find ways to visit places, se things, do things we can’t do’.

By Jessica Wong

“The coronavirus pandemic has stopped many classes from venturing out on trips and halted groups making in-school visits, but some Canadian cultural institutions are revamping their educational programming to offer virtual field trips that reach students in nearby neighbourhoods, across the country and beyond…

The teams behind several of these projects are already seeing success in reaching more students than ever before, in spite having just a few months of experience under their belts.

“Between October and right now, we’ve had over 70,000 users of the [Parliament: The Classroom Experience] 360-degree video and the classroom website is not that far behind,” Frost said. “We’re getting pretty good use and the visit times are pretty high.”

The AGO’s educational programming reaches about 40,000 students in a typical school year, noted Hudson. That figure has skyrocketed due to the virtual program, she said, with 42 per cent of the current “visitors” coming from outside Toronto, where the gallery is based, compared to just nine per cent before.

“Seeing that we reached over 180,000 students in 10 weeks [through virtual school trips], that for me is just absolutely phenomenal. And it speaks to the need, speaks to the desire [for] a program such as this.”

Source: CBC News