This past Friday, February 13, 2009, 8th and 9th grade students from Tammy Parks’ journalism class at Howe Public Schools in southeast Oklahoma shared a student-led virtual field trip with students in Irasburg Village School, Vermont, conducted from the Fort Smith National Historic Site in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A two minute video about the field trip is available on the KHBS/KHOG Northwest Arkansas TV Channel 40/29 website. Unfortunately the site does not support video embedding. You’ll have to watch a 17 second advertisement first to see the video.

Trail of Tears, Frontier Forts, and the notorious "Hanging Judge" of the Wild West: Tales from the Fort Smith National Historic Site

Howe students in Mrs. Parks’ class won the 2008 national KC3 contest for their student-led virtual field trip to Spiro Mounds, a local archeology site. Tammy Parks was the keynote speaker in November 2008 for our statewide Oklahoma Distance Learning Association conference. Her presentation “Humanizing the Learning Technology” is available as an audio podcast. My text notes from Tammy’s session “Student-Created Virtual Field Trips: Howe Public Schools Live and On Location!” from this past week at the Oklahoma Technology Association’s annual conference are available. I will be publishing the audio recording of that session here later today.

Tammy Parks is one of the most innovative educators I have met to date. She is blessed to be supported by visionary administrators and a cadre of others including both teachers and students. The families in Howe, Oklahoma, are blessed to have Tammy as a teacher in their school, and we are fortunate (wherever we live) to be able to learn and be inspired by her continued work with students using technology in richly engaging ways.

For more about the KC3 (“Kids Creating Community Content”) Project, visit the official project website. Also, see my notes from Jan Zanetis’ presentation “Beyond the Virtual Fieldtrip and the Collaborative Project… KC3: A National Challenge” at the Missouri Distance Learning Association’s conference in July 2008.

A video about the 2008 KC3 Project is available on TeacherTube.

The KC3 project is jointly sponsored by Tandberg and the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC.) The CILC’s Collaboration Center is super place to find collaborative projects to join and to announce your own projects you’d like find other students and teachers to join in.

I have additional links, resources, and ideas about virtual field trips on my wiki page “Videoconferencing Collaborations and Virtual Field Trips.”

Hat tip to Lance Ford for sharing the link to the news video of Friday’s virtual field trip at Fort Smith. Hat tip to the students in Howe, also, for pulling off this GREAT learning opportunity for lucky students in Vermont!

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