Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 3 -- Take a Virtual Field Trip with zipTrips

Today's post is provided by guest blogger Jamie Loizzo with Purdue zipTrips.

No funding for field trips? No worries. Get creative! Push the envelope with technology! Take your students on a virtual field trip.

Purdue zipTrips™ connect science students across the country with scientists in real-time. This is a great way to introduce your students to STEM careers. zipTrips are FREE and based on Indiana and national middle-school science standards and include online lesson plans, scientist profile videos, and a LIVE 45-minute electronic field trip. Check out this preview clip of the upcoming February 16th ‘It’s a Gene Thing!’ zipTrip:

Make it interactive and memorable! Use email in your classroom during the zipTrip for students to send in questions to the scientists and possibly have their questions answered LIVE ‘on-the-air.’ zipTrips are also partnering up with a new, social-media program called Purdue HotSeat. Students can use laptops, mobile phones, iPads, iPods, etc. to log in to HotSeat, post questions for the scientists, vote on the questions they would like to see featured, and have discussions with one another. Check out this video showing how it all works:

The Challenge

How could you use virtual fieldtrips in your classroom? Are you going to participate in zipTrips' virtual fieldtrip this month? Have you used a virtual fieldtrip with your students? Do you see virtual trips as a good alternative to offsite fieldtrips? Share your thoughts and plans.

Posted by: Jamie Loizzo, Purdue zipTrips Project Manager

Please send any questions or comments to:


  1. Are there appropriate virtual fieldtrips for kindergarten?

  2. This is a neat idea from a credible source. Anytime you can include an interactive component to learning in which students can voice their questions is exciting. I loved the HotSeat idea. You can also create these types of experiences on your own by finding experts to Skype with your class. Opening a virtual window between spaces for collaboration is precisely what makes digital learning so much more powerful than traditional learning. This year one of my teachers will be Skyping with a Shakespearean actor as they study Hamlet.

  3. I was planning on taking my students to Mars. The bus couldn’t make it; so, the students are going to participate in an e-mission to the moon and Mars. Some classes did this e-mission last year with great success. The mission is entitled eMission: Moon, Mars and Beyond and can be found at the following link.

    As technologies continue to evolve and expand globalize society, teachers can continue to facilitate learning experiences that promote and inspire lifelong learning. These digital field trips are a great example of distance learning at the public school level, which allows learning to occur at a separate time and space.

    I will definitely take a look at zipTrips. Thank you for the resource.