The Pendleton Center for the Arts virtual fieldtrip program provides communication and interaction with and about local art to elementary school students. It encourages students to seek out artistic experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, and does so in a cost effective and accessible way for teachers and the school district.
Using Skype as a virtual interface, the virtual fieldtrip program includes three components that engage students’ interest in the arts: a gallery and facility tour, a hands-on art project, and direct communication with artists. It can be easily adapted to any classroom (or arts organization, for that matter) with the appropriate equipment- a classroom computer with a webcam, Skype, and an IWB or projector.
After participating in a Virtual Gallery Tour, students will be able to describe their personal responses to the artwork using the language of the visual arts
Step 1: Set up your equipment
In the classroom:
Schedule a time and date with the arts organization or gallery of your choice. The PCA would love to hear from you, but a local organization is nice because students have the chance to physically visit and see their completed art. Treat the event like a regular fieldtrip and get the students excited about "going" somewhere.
Do a Skype test call, and not just the automated one that checks your speakers. Actually call and video chat with the arts organization beforehand.
Clear a space on the wall for the video feed to be projected onto, or, if you're lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard (aka, Smart board or IWB) in your classroom, dust it off because your finally going to try it out (!)
Prepare all art supplies- this requires collaboration between the teacher and the art organization. Make sure both parties know what is going to happen in what amount of time. This is where preparation is REALLY awesome- communication too. Email, phone call, or Skype with the participating organization in advance to get all the specifics covered.