Interactive virtual learning–pandemic stopgap, or here to stay?

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Virtual field trips or expeditions have gained in popularity in recent years, and the COVID-19 global pandemic has given the concept a boost as schools and now parents scramble to bring relevant, stimulating learning experiences out of the classroom and into their pupils’ new reality. Now, a year into the pandemic, classrooms are beginning to reopen, but the practicality and benefit of interactive virtual learning has drawn growing appreciation throughout the field of education.

Educators everywhere have come to acknowledge how easily interactive virtual learning gives students the experience of a real field trip without leaving their homes — or their hometowns.

The heart of the interactive experience is live conversations with educators and experts who are passionate about their work and love to share their knowledge with eager learners. Museum curators, historians, authors, researchers, and other expert instructors engage directly with students during the virtual expedition to create a rich, compelling learning environment.

And students love it. Participating in live virtual field trips encourages them to become deeply engaged with the subject matter, whether it’s a real-time virtual dive in the Great Barrier Reef or a tour of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and so much in between. I have watched students in Australia interact with students in Korea for cultural exchanges. And I have seen the look on teachers’ faces when they see interactive virtual learning in action, that Aha! moment when they see how this tool can help teach any topic to any standard.



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