Do your students have spring fever? Are they itching to learn outside of the building? Read on for favorite apps to make taking a field trip fun and easy.
Planning a field trip can be incredibly time-consuming: scouting out the location, listing sites of interest along the travel route, noting bathrooms available for emergencies, and preparing forms for students to record their observations and answer study questions. Put the fun back into field trip planning with the apps below.
Your Personal Tour Guide
Turn your iPhone or android device into a personal tour guide with Google's new Field Trip app. Allow the device to track your location and you'll be notified of historic places and events or cool architecture as you walk or ride. Live in a big city? Check out It Happened Here. Both free apps will send you short, info-packed messages by text or through voice messaging in the same manner as Siri works on iPhones.
Apps for Little People
On every trip, there is inevitablely a small child who needs to use an emergency restroom. Use SitORSquat to find clean, accessible bathrooms in seconds and save yourself and your chaperones valuable time.
If you have younger students, get them ready for focused, quiet behavior outside the classroom with MyClassRules Noise Monitor app. MyClassRules measures volume level with great graphics and lets kids compete to keep quiet (and productive) with kids around the world. A quick flash of this app in a noiseless museum will keep chaperones and other visitors loving your quiet, attentive class! If you are not interested in competing with other classes working to control their volume, check out Too Noisy Education — it's free.
Are you a B.Y.O.T. (Bring Your Own Technology) or a B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) advocate? Whether you are or not, chances are that your older students are sneaking mobile devices to school and on your field trips. Get parental permission, lots of chaperones, and show your digital natives how to productively use their devices for school. Allow students to download Evernote or iPlanFieldTrips. Kids can dictate their observations or type them in and share them. When you return, allow students to refer to their notes for richer discussions or create a field trip blog for your entire school to reference.
B.Y.O.T advocates will love Museum Hunt. This free app provides educational scavenger hunts for major museums and zoos. My sons and I are off to tackle the 4th Grade Dinosaur Hunt at the Museum of Natural History in New york City! Please comment — what great field trip apps are you playing with over the holiday break?
For more field trip apps, check out my post Technology and the Great Outdoors.