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Research & Resources

Clifford Travels to P-16 Summer Summit for Technology

Anna C. Clifford, Ed.D., Professor of Education

June 17, 2010 - Dr. Anna C. Clifford was an invited presenter at the P-16 Summer Summit for Technology at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland Tennessee, July 15, 2010. The summit was sponsored by Cleveland State Community College and the Tennessee Department of Education. Dr. Clifford’s session was titled Bags Packed? Let’s GO! Research supporting the use of fieldtrips in the teaching-learning environment was presented. Participants were reminded that fieldtrips today are almost non-existent, due to lack of funding in our public schools. However, current research suggests that if meeting a specific set of criteria, virtual fieldtrips can be an excellent teaching tool.

Dr. Scot Mandel (2010) writes, “A virtual field trip, if done correctly and in an educationally sound fashion, can provide many of the identical cognitive and affective gains that an actual real-life field trip can provide.” Furthermore, “if a virtual field trip is conducted in the same meticulous fashion as a real-life field trip, students should be able to acquire the same cognitive and affective gains that previous research has found. When this is possible, an entirely new world of experiences will be opened to all students regardless of the school field trip budget, as they can all experience firsthand the potential of the Internet as a valid curricular device."

The discussion pointed to purposeful planning of virtual fieldtrips embedded with curriculum standards and presented students’ examples using a variety of technology tools.

Summertime is vacation time! Whether your plans include traveling on a gondola in Italy, experiencing the eruption of Old Faithful, taking a train ride within the state of Tennessee, or picnicking in your own backyard, it is very possible you could capture a teaching learning experience for your students. Grounded in curriculum standards, we will target the development of virtual fieldtrips. During the session, we will discuss the plans for the journey and explore various user friendly (free) technology tools(e.g., Windows MovieMaker, PhotoStory 3, Flyinside, Google) to make it happen! We will wrap those curriculum standards in still pictures, digital video clips, voice over, background music, text titles and captions, and more, bringing those rich experiences into the classroom to the children.

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