On March 10th we skyped during science time over 3200 miles to Denali National Park. The National Park Service provides teachers free skyping lessons. They call them “distance learning.” It was awesome–the ranger had a split screen with one camera on herself and the other on her computer screen. Here is a 5 minute video I made of our experience so that my colleagues can see what this kind of experience brings into the classroom:
A few tips if you do this experience with the National Park Service:
1) Plan ahead to do the pre-activities. We were able to review our 4th grade graphing standards with the Denali graphing activity. The students also enjoyed the 4 minute video about climbing Denali. Have that background knowledge made the virtual field trip feel more connected.
2) Distance learning lessons (Skype lessons) are not found for all National Parks in one place. So if you have a particular National Park in mind, check their particular website. Nor do all National Parks post lessons on Skype’s education.skype.com website. Here are some of the webpages to get you going:
If anyone finds one website with the National Park distance learning programs all in one place, let me know.