Ed-Tech Policy

Field Trip Lets Millions Be Virtual Spelunkers

By Jessica L. Tonn — April 25, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

More than 10 million students were expected to go on a field trip this week to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in Carlsbad, N.M.—without leaving their classrooms.

The April 25 field trip, coordinated by Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., was to consist of two live virtual tours of the cave featuring scientists, park guides, and first lady Laura Bush. Students in grades 3-8 were invited to call in or e-mail questions to be answered on the air, or to participate in an online discussion during the 90-minute broadcasts.

The organizers billed the event as the largest simultaneous visit ever to a national park. It was also described as the largest “electronic field trip”ever broadcast by BSU, which has organized more than 50 such trips since 1996.

Organizers offered a range of ways to access the broadcast: satellite television, a local cable-access network, or streaming video online. Thirty-five public-broadcasting stations across the country also agreed to show the program.

The trip’s coordinators recommended that classes watch the show on television rather than over the Internet, because video streaming can slow down other computers in a school’s network. Also, watching the broadcast on TV would free up computers for students wanting to participate in the online forum during the show.

Mark Kornmann, the coordinator of electronic field trips for BSU, said that as of last week, participants had registered from eight countries. Many classes registered online before the show to access supplemental online material, but preregistration was not required, he said.

Registered teachers have had access to Web-based curricula about the life and geology of the caverns for the past month.

Also during that time, students have been able to play a video game on the university’s Web site in which they could explore a virtual version of the national park.

“Exploring Carlsbad Caverns” was slated as the final electronic field trip run by BSU this school year. Five trips are scheduled for next school year, including trips to the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More information about the field trips is online at www.bsu.edu/eft.

Related Tags:

Events

School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Can Schools and Vendors Work Together Constructively on AI? A New Guide May Help
A top priority is greater transparency about how AI-driven products are designed and tested.
4 min read
Ed-Tech Policy Tracker Which States Ban or Restrict Cellphones in Schools?
See which states are requiring cellphone restrictions or bans in schools.
cellphone distraction policy bans in schools static
Laura Baker/Education Week via canva
Ed-Tech Policy Video School Cellphone Ban Is Critical for 'Addicted' Students, NYC Chancellor Says
"I see no good reason for the kids to have access to their phones" during the school day, Chancellor David Banks tells EdWeek.
6 min read
New York City School Chancellor David Banks speaking at an event at the Union Settlement Union Carver Center where the Mayor talked about a plan to improve child care and early childhood education.
New York City School Chancellor David Banks speaking at an event at the Union Settlement Union Carver Center where the Mayor talked about a plan to improve child care and early childhood education.
Michael Brochstein/Sipa via AP
Ed-Tech Policy Here's What Tech-Savvy Educators Think About Cellphone Bans in Schools
Educators at the International Society for Technology in Education's annual conference have a mix of opinions on cellphone bans.
5 min read
Photo illustration of cell phone with red circle and slash.
iStock / Getty Images Plus