When it comes to experiencing new places, you don’t have to get on a bus or an airplane to get a taste of distant cities. While a trip to Washington, D.C. is an opportunity every student and teacher should take advantage of, it might not be feasible for many due to time, budget and logistical restrictions. But you can make the best use of digital resources and virtual field trips, and this list will help you and your students explore Washington, D.C.
With Nearpod, teachers can share course content with students, including a handful of ready-to-go lessons related to government and Washington, D.C. A virtual reality lesson on Symbols of America lets students visit the Lincoln Memorial in the nation’s capital and learn about different emblems of the country’s history and culture. It can be used with or without Google Cardboard.
The Library of Congress website offers useful teacher and student resources. I recently highlighted five free tools in a blog post, but one I didn’t mention was the LOC’s online tours, which allows students to explore D.C.’s Thomas Jefferson Building, James Madison Memorial Building and the John Adams Building on this site.
The Washington, D.C. area contains many museums and institutions under the care of the Smithsonian. On the Smithsonian’s website you can view zoos, art galleries and museums by region — including the D.C. Metro Area. This includes the Air and Space Museum, National Zoo and the Renwick Gallery.
The website YouVisit provides a tour of universities throughout the world. On a tour of Howard University in Washington, D.C., virtual visitors can walk through campus in a 360 degree or virtual reality headset experience. What I love about this tool is how easy it is to navigate on a laptop computer and mobile device. In addition to Howard, there are also tours of other Washington, D.C. tools including Gallaudet University and American University.
Google Maps is a terrific tool for navigating city streets, especially with Street View. Throw it up on a projector screen and take students on a virtual walking tour of the nation’s capital.
Monica Burns is an Author, Speaker, Curriculum & EdTech Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.