Taking virtual field trips is nothing new to Antelope County schools thanks to ESU #8. But they were to hundreds of other people as Molly Aschoff presented to an overflowing crowd Friday.
Aschoff, Distance Learning Coordinator at Educational Service Unit 8 in Neligh, presented “Field Trips Gone Virtual” at the 2014 Nebraska Educational Technology Association conference in LaVista. More than 200 people attended her session, including people sitting on the floor, leaning against walls and standing in the hallways listening.
Aschoff explained the benefits of taking students most anywhere or connecting them with experts without leaving the classroom. She showed how to find virtual field trips that enhance everyday curriculum and demonstrated the technology needed to make the experience a success.
She spoke about taking virtual field trips to Durham Museum, Henry Doorly Zoo, Homestead National Monument, Joslyn Art Museum and other locations all around the world.
Aschoff also detailed the technology needed and how it has changed over the years, including the price decreases seen by districts even while the possibilities have increased. STEM Gems Also presenting at the conference from ESU #8 was Heidi Rethmeier, staff development coordinator. She presented "STEM Gems," which explored opportunities to engage and empower 5th- through 12th-grade students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She detailed distance learning opportunities through NASA, West Point, Bridge Design software and other simple projects.