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Online Field Trips and Interactive Museums

Page history last edited by Melissa Edwards 10 years, 11 months ago
5 BEST Virtual Field Trips (article with links from Kelly Tenkely) that talks about the Smithsonian, UPM Forest Life, Moon in Google Earth, Planet in Action, and Augmented Reality sites.


The Museum of Online Museums is a one-stop site to find links to some of the best art museums and galleries in the world. The links and collections are updated on a regular basis. And the site has been featured on NPR, in Time magazine, and in the New York Times.


Picturing the Thirties is another great virtual web activity from the Smithsonian.  This virtual museum exhibit teaches students about the 1930’s through eight exhibitions.  Students will learn about the Great Depression, The New Deal, The Country, Industry, Labor, The City, Leisure, and American People in the 1930’s.  Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum are supplemented with other primary sources such as photographs, newsreels, and artist memorabilia.  Picturing the Thirties is an incredible virtual field trip to museum exhibits that will put your students face to face with primary resources that will help them understand the events and culture of the 1930’s.  This is SO much better than learning from a textbook!  This interactive site is a great way for students to explore the 1930’s and learn at their own pace.  This site is perfect for the computer lab environment where every student has access to a computer.  You could also take a class virtual field trip to the museum using an interactive whiteboard or a projector.


Join in The Wild Experience 

( Field Trip Earth:  About The Project )

Be a part of The Wild Experience, an exciting multimedia presentation designed especially for Field Trip Earth visitors. The Wild Experience takes us on a tour of the conservation research projects highlighted on FTE.We'll meet new people, see remote and fascinating places, and interact with wildlife both familiar and exotic—it's an opportunity to work as wildlife researchers ourselves


American Museum of Natural History Presents Ology (Grades 2-8) Astronomy, Biodiversity, Genetics, Rocks and Minerals, Water – Very colorful website that is a slightly tricky to navigate.  Once you choose your “ology” on the left, you will need to scroll way down to see what exhibit features are available.  Most include video clips and interactive games along with images and text.


Museums always have great interactives, this is a fantastic list of one from the UK.


American Package Museum Art Gallery (Grades 3-12) Advertising, Art, Graphic Arts, American History - Only a few of these have 3-D virtual views, but the content is great.  Take a virtual stroll through historical product packaging. From Aqua Velva to vintage Wrigley’s Gum take walk down graphic arts memory lane.


Benjamin Franklin Interactive Timeline (Grades 5-12) Founding Fathers, Government, Inventors, Science History – A remarkable image driven timeline to help students discover the life and times of Ben Franklin.


Birth of the Internet from the National Science Foundation (Grades 6-12) Computer Apps, History, Technology – Take a multimedia journey through the history of the Internet. From maps on how the Internet grew to photos (yes, an old IBM can be seen) to videos. 


Cite Enfants (PreK-2) French – Wonderful interactive site for primary students, but all in French (you might be surprised how well you can navigate even if you don’t know French).  This could be a great site for first year French students beginning to discover basic vocabulary.


Colonial Williamsburg (Grades 4-12) African-American History, Colonial America, American Revolution, Native American History Truly one of the best websites for education, Colonial Williamsburg has created games, slideshows, videos, podcasts, and more.  You will need to look at the links in the sidebar to navigate through the multimedia offerings.


Dumbarton House for Kids (Grades 4-6) Colonial America, Founding Fathers, Post-Revolutionary War – This excellent site is meant for students to explore where the first nation’s capitol would be held.  The online interactive explorations are often built within the images on the site.


Exploratorium’s The Science of Music (Grades K-12) Instruments, Music, Rhythm – This is pure fun in exploration through video, interactive games, and sound. 


Field Museum Online Exhibits (Grades 3-12) Ancient Civilizations, Art, Biomes, Chocolate, DNA, Evolution, Fossils, Genetics, Instruments, Map Studies, Mythology, Natural Disasters, Rocks and Minerals, Scientists, Soil  - With so much here to explore, there is something for practically every teacher.  Not every exhibit holds interactive experiences, but you will definitely find some treasures here.  Be sure to scroll down to “View More Exhibits”.


Fire Museum of Memphis (Grades PreK-2) Fire Safety – Be sure to locate “Safe, Not Safe Game”.  This could be an excellent interactive whiteboard activity to support Fire Prevention Week.


Frissiras Art Museum of Greece (Grades 6-12) Art – What is unique about this virtual art gallery is the ability for the student to see the details of the art work.  Simply move the mouse across any image to manipulate. 


Humanities Interactive (Grades 5-12) Art, Ancient Civilizations, Exploration, Medieval History, Texas History – Click on any of the images to begin browsing.  Each topic has images, essays and games to help provide more primary resources for your units.


Indianapolis Children’s Museum Interactives (Grades K-6) Art, Fossils, Rocks and Minerals, Skeletal System – A few treasures in here that can be used with interactive white boards and meet state standards.  I particularly like the one on bones.


Indianapolis Museum of Art’s African Life Through Art (Grades 6-12) African Studies, Art – This interactive art gallery allows the visitor to explore through a wealth of sculptures, masks, and other artifacts.


John F. Kennedy Library (Grades 6-12) JFK Presidency and Biography – Explore the life and times of President JFK virtually through this site.


Monet’s Sketchbooks (Grades 6-12) Art, French Artists  ­This site is a wonderful visual tour through Monet’s personal sketch books.  Students can zoom in and move the drawings around the screen in order to view the detailed artistry.


Museum of Advertising and Design Online Exhibits (Grades 6-12) Advertising, Art, Cultural Studies, Graphic Designs, Journalism, 20th Century Music  - With visuals and sound, you can explore how graphic art have influenced advertising over the years.  Be sure to investigate the album cover art. 


Museum of Glass Virtual Hot Shop (Grades 3-12) Art- Discover how glass blowing and glass art is created through these online virtual simulations.  If you click the “Watch” tab, you can view live webcam feeds from the museum’s hot shop directly into your classroom.


Museum of Modern Art’s Online Projects (Grades 3-12 depending on which project you launch) Art, Biographies, Cultural Studies, Graphic Design, Writing – Several choices here to explore from an elementary Art Safari to Asian explorations of sound. 


Museum of Natural History Virtual Exhibits (Grades 2-12) African Studies, Ancient Civilizations, Atmosphere, Biomes, Exploration, Lewis and Clark, Latin America, Mammals, Native American Studies, Rocks and Minerals – Some of these are basic image and text, but others are truly fascinating such as the Vikings.  With audio, video, and interactive maps, the content is excellent.


Museum of the Moving Image (Grades 6-12) Computer Apps, Drama, Presidents, Technology, Video Production – This site is a mixture of video, images, and text that walk you through the history of motion video.  From the silent film era to Star Wars to 50 years of presidential television commercial spots, this site has it all.


NASA’s 50th Anniversary Online Museum (Grades 3-12) Astronomy, Cold War, History, Space – This is another brilliant website that offers the best in interactive exploration.  From the 1950’s through today, you can explore the best of what NASA has to offer through video, audio, games, and more.


National Archives Digital Vault Experience (Grades 5-12) American History 1754-Present A truly amazing experience is to be found while exploring here.  You can browse through the hundreds of photographs, documents, and film clips. Students can even virtually collect their own documents within the webspace for research.  I would recommend looking for the “Educators and Students” section for more information and handouts students can use while navigating the Digital Vault.


National Gallery of Art Online Tours (Grades 3-12) Ancient Egypt, Art, Artist Biographies, Art History, European History, Photography – Through images, video, and sound, students can explore excellent information on some of the greatest artists of historical and modern times. 


National Geographic’s Map Games created by the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (Grades 1-6) Ancient Civilizations, Map Studies, Presidents, Space, Technology - Here you will find fun treasures to help teach geography and history.  For the wee ones, I highly recommend “Adventure Island”.  If your students use GPS in the classroom, there is also a GIS adventure that is worth investigating.


National Museum of Dentistry (Grades 1-4) Dental Health- Great simulation and learning games to help students discover the importance of good dental health.


National Zoological Park’s Conservation Central (Grades 1-5) Animal Habitats, Biomes, Conservation – These interactive learning simulations give you an animated “in the field” experience through a Panda habitat. 


Neave Planetarium (Grades 3-12) Astronomy, Exploration, Space – A truly amazing interactive planetarium.  Similar to Google Earth except for constellations, you can easily spend serious time in here playing around.


OrgainisMuseum Virtual Photo Art Gallery (Grades 8-12) Art, Photography, Graphic Design – You will need to install the video player in order to launch the virtual museum.  Using the navigation tools, explore the photographs.

Panasonic Design Museum (Grades 5-12) Advertising, Inventions, Technology- over 90 years of inventions and products produced by the Panasonic Company.  A brilliantly designed interactive website takes you through an interactive timeline.
Philadelphia Museum of Art (Grades 6-12) Ancient Civilizations, Art, Cultural Studies – Simply type in the name of an artist or any other art keyword to view several of artifacts within the museum.  Each image allows you to zoom in and view details.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Interactives (Grades 6-12) Art, Biographies, Culture Studies, Photography – These interactive exhibits feature a wealth of information and multimedia.  Along with the expected images, you’ll find some collections with video and audio interviews with the highlighted artists.
Techniquest Children’s Museum Interactives (Grades K-6) Art, Colors, Culture Studies, Symmetry Discover how colors mix or how symmetry works with free hand drawing.
Texas Forestry Museum’s Life in an East Texas Forest (Grades K-2) Habitat, Trees, Water Cycle – This interactive exploration for primary students would probably be best run whole class with an interactive white board.  Students will learn parts of tree and the water cycle.
The Imperialism Museum (Grades 9-12) Falklands Conflict, History, The Cold War, World War I, World War II – This British museum is an excellent resource with interactive timelines, diaries, videos, and more.
The Science Museum’s Learning Games (Grades 3-12) Energy, Forensic Science, Natural Resources – These interactives are rather fun to explore for your interactive white board activities to use with environmental science units.
Try Science (Grades 3-8) Computer Apps, Environmental studies, Technology ­Click on the pink “Adventure” tab to get started.  The two adventures I recommend for classroom use are “The Grid”, which shows how networks are built, and “Power Up” which focuses on environmental awareness.  Also click on “Live Cams” to see current museum webcam streams from all over the US.
Virtual Hampson Museum (Grades 5-12) Art, Native American Studies Click on browse the collection to get started.  Here you’ll be able to rotate and manipulate Native American artifacts found in and around Arkansas. 
  • Virtual Museum of Canada Interactive Games and Simulations (Grades K-12) Biomes, Gold Rush, Human Body, Magnetism, Music, Mystery Fiction, Space, World War I, World War II, Yukon Simulations and games to help teachers provide enrichment activities for their units.  Many of these would be excellent for interactive whiteboard activities.

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