Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites Where Students Can Plan Virtual Trips

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'Road Trip Plan' photo (c) 2007, Richard Moross - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A nice geography lesson is to have students plan a trip to some location (or locations). There are several web tools that make doing this pretty easy — it’s just a matter of identifying where you want to go, looking through the sites to see in those places, and then “dragging-and-dropping” them onto a list that you can subsequently post on a student or teacher website/blog. Most of these sites also allow you to write a description of your trip (and why you chose the places you did), but students can do the same on their own site, too.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Finding And Creating Virtual Field Trips.

Even better, most of these sites also let users comment on places they have visited, which make them an excellent place for students to write for an authentic audience about locations they have really visited (which can include local spots).

Here are the sites that I think are most accessible to English Language Learners and let them plan these kinds of virtual trips (not in order of preference):

Tripwolf just announced a revamping of their site that makes it much more accessible.

Go Planit

Tripcart

Discover America

Travel DK

Yahoo Travel

Gogobot

Scout Me

Geolover is a new application that lets you very easily pick a destination in the world; then you’re shown key attractions at your choice; next, you pick the ones you’re most interested in seeing, and finally you’re given a unique url address showing your list. It would be nice for a geography class, and students can write why they chose the destinations and attractions they did.

Stay.com lets users easily “drag-and-drop” attractions they want to see in different cities in order to create their own unique downloadable PDF travel guide. You can also read the PDF without having to download it. Students can just post its url and still view it on the Web.

Tripline just opened for business, and it’s a great map-making application. You just list the various places you want to go in a journey, or a famous trip that has happened in history or literature, or a class field trip itinerary, and a embeddable map is created showing the trip where you can add written descriptions and photos. You can use your own photos or just search through Flickr. Plus, you can pick a soundtrack to go with it as it automatically plays through the travels.

Here are examples of the ride of Paul Revere and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

It’s super-easy to use, and the only tricky part is that you can’t add photos until after you create your trip and save it. That’s not a big deal, unless you couldn’t figure it out like me and had to contact the site.

Tripomatic lets you create itineraries for your trips.

Peek is a travel planning site that has announced a feature call “Create Your Perfect Day.” After registering, which takes seconds, you pick a city or area you’d like to visit. Then, start picking places in that area you’d like to spending time in. Images of the places are automatically shown, you can pick one of them, and then write why you picked it. It’s a really neat site. The only potential problem, though, is that it didn’t work very smoothly in Firefox, but worked like a charm in Chrome. I don’t know if that was a problem with my computer, or if the site was just overloaded with traffic from the TechCrunch post about the new feature.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Finding And Creating Virtual Field Trips.

Mosey lets you pick a location, easily choose places in the area that you’d like to “visit,” grab images off the web, shows the places on map, and lets you add notes.

Feedback is always welcome.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Larry,
    Thanks for another useful post. You may like to add two virtual tours from the Melbourne Museum – “A Day in Pompeii” at http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/discoverycentre/pompeii/virtual-exhibition/ and the “Dinosaur Walk” at http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/discoverycentre/dinosaur-walk/virtual-exhibition/

  2. Thanks!! Geolover is great! I’ve had my Spanish students create tours on Google Earth with place marks but they have to wade through so much junk to find the top sites. The Flickr images + video + wikipedia entry make Geolover extremely accessible.

  3. Thank you for the valuable list.

  4. Thank you very much for all that information!. I’d like to share another nice site where you can write your own audioguides and then post them in your blog or site.
    http://woices.com/

  5. I can make great use of this information! Thank you!

  6. Pingback: The Best Sites Where Students Can Plan Virtual Trips | Geography

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  10. This is really great and came out handy when I needed it! Wanted to add one more site that really helped me do some trip planning in case anyone is interested: http://www.visitacity.com

  11. A quick Google search of ‘virtual field trips’ will give you over 2 million hits (no lie – I checked!). Planning one is definitely going to take some forethought. Your first step should be to tailor your virtual field trip to match it to your curriculum.
    If you wanted to add more site that really helped me do some trip planning in case anyone is interested then go through:
    http://www.thestc.co.uk

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