The ABCs of VFTs

Introduction to Virtual Field Trips

The success of a virtual video conference is dependent on all participants. Properly preparing for the conference includes:

  1. participating in a test conference prior to the event to ensure that all participating sites are compatible.
  2. preparing participants/students by completing any pre-event activities related to the presentation.
  3. preparing participants/students for their role in a video conferencing event. This is particularly important if this is the participant’s/student’s first experience in a virtual event.
  4. exposing participants/students to video conferencing technology which will allow participants/students to see themselves.

Teacher’s role in the video conference:

  • Set up or arrange for technology for the event.
  • Prepare students.
    • Review student’s role in the video conference
      • Pre-determine a student to introduce the class.
        • Grade level, where the school is located, and possibly what they have been studying related to the VFT presentation.
    • Preview purpose of the lesson with students.
      • Introduce or have students research information about the VFT presenter/site.
      • Have students prepare questions for the presenter.
      • Designate a location where students go to ask questions.
  • During the video conference:
    • When the presenter asks a question, the teacher should identify a student to answer the question.
    • If necessary, mute and un-mute your audio.

Student’s role in the video conference:

  • Students should be prepared to give brief presentations, ask questions, and respond to presenters.
  • Students should speak in a loud, clear voice. If a microphone is placed in a central location, instruct the students to walk up and speak into the microphone.
  • Students should remain quiet while others are talking. The microphones pick up background noise, and this can be very distracting.
  • Students are representing their schools; they should be on their best behavior.