Many virtual field trips have already been created and can easily be incorporated into existing lesson plans and curriculum units.
A virtual field trip might be as simple as going to an existing online site, such as The White House, and taking a virtual tour – http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/white-house-101
Professionally produced sites, such as the ones described in this section, combine sophisticated technologies and hands-on learning activities. The Gilder Lehrman Collection contains more than 60,000 documents detailing the political and social history of the United States.
The collection includes manuscript letters, diaries, maps, photographs, printed books and pamphlets dating from 1493 through modern times. There are several online exhibits and virtual tours that can be used to travel back through American History.
The JASON Project, produced by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, integrates video programming, satellite transmissions, classroom activities and instruction to expose students to real science and exploration http://www.jason.org/public/home.aspx. Through hands-on, inquiry driven learning, JASON inspires teachers to try new teaching techniques and effectively engages students in active learning (JASON).
LEARNZ, Linking Education and Antarctic Research in New Zealand, is an online virtual field trip program designed for New Zealand students http://www.learnz.org.nz/. LEARNZ takes students on adventures alongside researchers engaging them in science experiments. Originally LEARNZ just provided the field trip experience; however, their adventures now include supporting documentation available one month before the actual excursion, interactive online activities and quizzes, and a diary to be completed each day that includes a record of the day’s events with still pictures. Enrolled “travelers” automatically receive an email with a summary of the day’s events as soon as the diary is posted to the Web.
Ball State University has partnered with The Smithsonian Institute, Cooperstown National Baseball Hall of Fame, the United States Congress, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide sophisticated virtual field trips that include live broadcasts, web-based simulations, and online gaming for student engagement http://www.bsu.edu/eft/home2/00front.htm.