Virtual learning was once considered, at best, a novelty, and at worst. An inefficient substitute for educating kids and teens. However, as time has progressed, an increasing number of parents have been adding virtual learning to their children’s education. Sometimes using it as a complete replacement for the physical classroom setting. Virtual learning is a great way to teach kids all the information they will need to compete in the world, as well as virtues like independence, responsibility, self-reliance and time management.
Even educational institutions like history museums and aquariums have their parallels in virtual learning. Here are some ways online resources can fulfill the role of the class field trips that have been customary to traditional public and private schools.
Science and History Museums
Museums have long been classic field trip destinations. History and science museums provide up close and personal ways of gathering information on complicated subjects through artifacts and displays. With the internet, however, everything that museums offer can be received straight from a computer.
For scientific exhibits, NASA has an official online museum you can visit whenever you want to get information regarding aerospace, astrophysics, space exploration and more. There, you can also take virtual tours of facilities like the Ballistics Impact Lab and the Space Environments Complex. The Worldwide Museum of Natural History is another great choice. There, you can see fossils of all different kinds of animals from around the world.
For history, the National Museum of American History is a great place to start, as it offers tons of images and articles about our nation’s interesting past.
Meanwhile, the Smithsonian Institution is one of the most popular museums anywhere on earth. It has artifacts and information relating to science, history, art and anthropology from all over the world. They also have a detailed online database of their exhibits for you to explore.
For seeing the solar system, galaxy and universe in a completely different way, planetariums have been an iconic way for kids and teens to study astronomy. With apps like “Star and Planet Finder” and “Sky Map”, you can get the same amount of information as you can at a planetarium. With these apps, you get to decide what you want to explore. When you run these apps on your smartphone, you will be able to see exactly where certain starts or plants are simply by pointing your phone in a particular direction.
For all the paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and design you can handle, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the place to see. As one of the largest museums in the world, it is also home to one of the world’s largest online collections of art from ancient Egypt to the Renaissance and beyond. Best of all, they offer free online tours of their galleries that you can attend right from your computer.
Also, for over 1,700 pieces of art from more than 625 artists, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum also features its galleries online for you to enjoy. The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has online displays too, as well as online courses on thinking critically about art.
Aquariums and Zoos
Finally, places like aquariums and zoos are great places to see animals up close, study their behavior and be awed by their beauty. Luckily, most zoos and aquariums have live streams of the animals in their exhibits that you can watch from home.
The Smithsonian, aside from their museum, also has a Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Institute. Showing 24/7 footage of their lions, elephants and more. They also offer online activities for kids to complete using footage of their wildlife exhibits.
One of the most famous aquariums in America, the Tennessee Aquarium, also has live footage from its tanks and exhibits. See penguins, otters, sharks and other marine fish and mammals and they waddle and swim through the camera’s line of sight. They also have dozens of videos that were created by professional scientists that offer biological facts about their animals.
To watch a family of bald eagles grow up right before your eyes, visit the Decorah Eagle Cam Live Feed. When these three eaglets were born, they became an internet sensation. The Raptor Resource Project has made it so that anybody, anywhere can check in on them and watch them live.
With so many online tools at your disposal, virtual learning is a more complete and enriching form of education than ever before. Plus, through virtual learning, kids get to learn about what they are interested in, for however long they want, instead of being told what to learn on somebody else’s schedule.
Whether it is exploring the planets or looking at the paintings of Monet, online resources offer all the excitement and information as field trips, right from home.
For more information about how your kids can expand their virtual education while learning at home, contact us today.