Each year, schools struggle financially as costs increase and school budgets decrease. One school activity that continuously suffers because of this is the school field trip. Funding for trips are constantly reallocated to be used on other in-school activities , or making purchases for new state and federal requirements.
However, there is a way that will help schools solve this problem – mobile apps. This will make funding the field trip a greater priority by adding interactive aspects into the field trip. This will make it easier to tie the trip into current curriculums and provide a greater learning experience. For schools that absolutely cannot find funding to travel for a field trip, mobile apps provide teachers with an opportunity to bring the field trip to their students. They can create a field trip in an empty lot, neighborhood or utilize other local spaces using augmented reality.
For example, a mobile app can make a pond more interactive. With some mobile apps, based on the geographic location of each student, when the student reaches a “hot spot” a question will appear. These hot spots can be located all around the pond, so the student will not know when a question might pop up. The mobile app can also be used to “see” different fish or ecosystems in the pond depending on where the student is standing. This allows education and interactivity to collide, making the field trip inexpensive, fun and educational.
There is one main concern of school administrators with their schools utilizing the mobile apps. Some administrators feel that using the mobile app may take away from the focus of a field trip. The fact that these mobile apps are so intriguing could be a negative feature, as some students and teachers may become engrossed in the app and not be focusing on the field trip environment.
Whether at a zoo or an empty pond, it is important for these mobile apps to enhance the trip, not take the place of it. Students and teachers still need to interact with each other during the field trips and not just with the mobile app.
Does your school utilize any mobile apps on field trips? Share your thoughts on our blog!