Monday, February 22, 2010

PLE Week 6 Post

Among the many sensory elements that would enhance a virtual tour, smell is at the top of my list. When one is at the zoo, the smells really come alive, however while watching a movie, or a computer screen, that is an important sense that is missed. Naturally, taste would be another experience that could ameliorate a tour. Food is one thing that can be so distinctly different one place to another. The other element I can think of is the element of touch. Maybe if the instructor could get a hold of some sort of example of what they will be studying, the students could each get to feel it.

I enjoyed the field trips I previewed, especially the one on volcanoes. It was quite solid, teaching many good lessons, while being very fun. Another one I watched was about the Civil War. Although it wasn't as direct and easy to orient I really enjoyed seeing the places they visited. The third tour I watched was on the Eiffel Tower. I specially enjoyed the fact that they asked the students a question and provided them with articles to use to find the answer.

There are many ups and downs of a virtual tour, and from a student perspective I think they are mainly positive. For no cost, the students can observe and experience to a degree an entirely different part of the world. On the other hand, certain sensory experiences as mentioned above are impossible to replicate with technology.