The other day I was watching some travel show or something that sparked memories of my trip with my wife to Mexico. We went to Chichen Itza and toured the ruins. I remember climbing to the top and how much my wife Andrea did not like the descent. It is pretty steep and you only have a small rope to hold onto. I also remember that they told us they would be restricting access to the temple we climbed up because of the wear on the steps. We were one of the last groups to be able to climb the stairs. This made me think how unique an experience we had, that others who venture there wouldn't have the same experience. Those thoughts led to me thinking about how many other unique experiences the people in my PLN have that could be used as educational experiences for our students. I started to think about the potential for turning those vacation photos into amateur tour guide videos.
What I have been thinking about for awhile is a way to have teachers and then students create "travel guide" videos. I see teachers like Matt Barry post pictures of his travels to the National Parks. My brother has traveled extensively and has tons of pictures he has shared. I am heading to Denver and have been offered by the person I am staying with to take a tour and travel into the mountains.
Full disclosure I was also initially inspired by a project my daughter did with "Flat Stanley." They were asked to send a paper cut out of themselves to a friend or relative and that person was supposed to take that cut out of the child to different places around the city and take pictures with the cut out. My youngest brother took my daughters cut out all around his home in Arizona and then on the plane back to Wisconsin when he came back for Christmas.
But what about those who can't take trips across the country or around the world to create their own videos of students? How can we tap into our PLN to create these tours. I have been thinking about this for awhile and I really want to make this happen for our students. I am wondering if there are individuals interested in creating tours of their hometowns, or current cities and sharing those with the rest of the world. I know there are so many teachers looking for ways to connect their classrooms to the world and this is a great start. We could create a shared folder that could be housed on this site for ease of access.
Teachers could connect with each other and discuss what they would be interested in learning. We could start with pictures and some sort of an overview or caption of the images, or people could take short videos where they explain the visuals. I think videos of Niagara falls are much more powerful than a still image. People could focus on taking the pictures and images without any audio and add that later in WeVideo, iMovie, etc. I am going to put an example together in the next few weeks after ISTE and share it with everyone.
My ultimate goals for this:
Connect students with the world beyond their schools and local communities.
Connect teachers to create amazing learning opportunities that they will share with others to create more and better experiences
Turn the learning over to students - after students see some examples done by teachers, we let students create their own tours. They might work individually or in small groups to showcase their local attractions and culture, or as a class. If you do multiple examples of your area, maybe allow students to vote on who did the best job and this could be best job of each attraction and then edit the videos to one final best of video to share with others.
Let your and your students' imaginations drive this activity. I am hoping we can start creating examples for our classes and each other this summer and create our first round examples. Don't worry about being perfect, these will hopefully be the worst examples our students see because they will create much more amazing products than we ever could.
Thanks for your consideration and let's connect if you are interested.
Here is a link to the shared folder
Q1 what makes travel so exciting or enjoyable
Q2 what is the best field trip you have ever experienced as a student
Q3 what is the best field trip you have ever experienced as an adult
Q4 Where would you like to go that you haven't yet
Q5 Where have you traveled that you would be willing to share pics and stories
Q6 Where would you like to take students that you aren't able to for whatever reason.
Q7 Would you be willing to share your adventures with students at other schools