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Summer Virtual Cultural Field Trips for Teachers from 51Talk

May 24, 2017

Virtual field trips have become popular in classrooms thanks to the ease of using technology tools to connect students with places around the world. From a Skype with a partner class in another time zone, to transporting a student to Mars with a 360 video and a virtual reality headset, the possibilities are endless. Earlier this year I had the chance to connect with the team at 51Talk. If you haven’t heard of 51Talk, it is a company focused on online learning. Their goal is to help children learn how to speak English.

51Talk uses one-on-one video conferencing through their special platform to give educators in the United States and Canada an opportunity to teach English from their own home. They have a new program called the American Academy and it’s designed to help English-speaking educators connect with students in China.

Summer Virtual Cultural Field Trips for Teachers from 51Talk

As virtual field trips become more and more popular in education, kids can “visit” anywhere in the world thanks to the power of virtual reality and video conferencing. 51Talk is similar to this phenomenon, in that teachers are able to go on cultural virtual field trips every time they connect with a student in China. Because of the way 51Talk’s classes are set up, these teachers are beamed into the living rooms of families all across China. Often times they interact with parents, connect during Chinese holidays, learn about meals, customs and so much more through their interactions with even the youngest students.

It’s really amazing to think about all of the ways technology has impacted our lives – especially the chance to connect with people on the other side of the globe. With the summer approaching, a trip to China might not be on your calendar, but there are flexible (and inexpensive) ways to virtually travel and learn about a new culture during your summer break and beyond.

Learn more about 51Talk by visiting their website where you can apply for the program and read teacher testimonials!

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Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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