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

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
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

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 When Schools Want to Ban Cellphones—But Parents Stand in the Way
Educating parents on the real threats cellphones pose to their children can help allay their concerns about safety.
5 min read
A drowning hand reaching out of a cellphone for help
iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy One School Leader Banned Cellphones, the Other Embraced Them. What Worked?
Two principals describe their dramatically different policies on cellphones and how they are working.
7 min read
An illustration of a wallpaper of mobile phones, some off, some turned over with stickers on the back covers and some missing with just an outline where they once were.
iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy 6 Ways Schools Are Managing Students’ Cellphone Use
Students' cellphone use has been a major source of headaches for teachers and principals.
5 min read
A cell phone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
A cellphone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024. The policies that districts and schools use to manage the use of cellphones during the school day vary widely.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy Biden Signs TikTok Ban Into Law. What That Means for Schools
Restricting the platform probably won't alleviate schools’ social media woes.
6 min read
The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo, on Sept. 28, 2020.
The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo, on Sept. 28, 2020.
Kiichiro Sato/AP