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eField Trips

What it is: eField Trips are a neat idea for students to ‘travel’ virtually to learn about the world.  These virtual eTrips are composed of 4 parts.  The first part is a pdf called the Trip Journal.  Teachers download and print out the trip journal to guide students on their journey and to give them a place to record what they are learning on their trip.  Second is the virtual visit, this is a flash video where students go on the actual trip at their own pace.  Generally trips take about 15 minutes to complete.  Third is a form where students can ask experts questions they have about the trip they took.  Actual experts will respond to the question in 1 to 2 days.  The fourth is a live chat.  These chats allow students to interact with the experts in a live session at a scheduled time.  Available eField Trips include: Pearl Harbor, bats, underwater ecosystems, brown vs. board of education, butterflies, western exploration, caves, climbing Denali, desert dwellers, Dred Scott, Earthquakes, mountains, and glaciers, fires roll in an ecosystem, Glacier Bay, Grand Tetons, invasive species, whales, renewable energy, sea turtles, mammals of Denali, manatee, reptiles and amphibians, wetlands, and more.  I would categorize eField Trips more like a webquest than a virtual field trip.  These are great webquests! How to integrate eField Trips into the classroom: These eField Trips would be an excellent extension (or replacement) for text book reading.  Students can work through the eField Trip at their own pace in the computer lab setting.  I like the Trip Journals that guide students on their journey and keep them thinking critically about what they are encountering.  For younger students, take an eField Trip as a whole class using a projector or an interactive whiteboard.  Each student could still fill out a Trip Journal as the class goes on the journey.  Because the etrips require reading, struggling readers may be paired up with confident readers or a helper.  I really like the interaction that students get with experts after the field trip.  As students are going on their journey, they are bound to come up with additional questions.  Students always love sending and getting mail, eField Trips gives students the opportunity to do both. Tips: One thing that I don’t love about this site, it is hard to navigate back to the homepage.  This isn’t a problem for students completing the trips, but it is a little frustrating as a teacher planning a trip.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using eField Trips in your classroom.

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PlanbookEdu: Lesson Plans in the Cloud

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, iPod, professional development, Teacher Resources, web tools | Posted on 06-07-2011

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What it is: Planbook EDU is a great cloud-based (a.k.a online) lesson plan book.  Because Planbook EDU is hosted in the cloud, all you need is an Internet connection, your plans travel with you.   Planbook EDU is listed in the Google Apps Marketplace and is a natural fit for schools already using Google apps for education (email, calendar, documents, etc.).  The free version of Planbook EDU has nothing to install, let’s teachers access their planbook from any internet connection, is easy to use with word processor like editing, is fully customizable, works in all major web browser and is iPad/iPhone supported (word processor editing doesn’t work on these devices).

How to integrate Planbook EDU into the classroom: I am a big fan of organizational tools, they let me organize my thoughts so that in the fire hose of ideas what is important (the learning goal) doesn’t get lost. Planbook EDU is a simple way to organize and plan units and your school year.  I love that it is cloud-based so that I can access my plans from anywhere and any time.  The basic features are robust enough to get your planning in place and the extras that can be added on make it VERY useful.

The premium version allows you to embed your planbook directly in your classroom website…very handy for keeping students and parents up to date with what is coming!

Tips: For $25/year, you get all of the free features plus- attach files to lesson plans, assign Common Core Standards, embed your planbook on any website, share lesson plans with anyone, print from your browser, export to Microsoft Word or PDF, built-in spell check and enjoy access to unlimited planbooks each school year.  EVERY user gets a free 14 day trial of all the premium options from Planbook EDU.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using PlanbookEDU  in your classroom!


Comments (8)

Thanks for the great post.

If anyone has any questions or comments about PlanbookEdu feel free to contact me directly.

Matt Curry
Founder, PlanbookEdu

I have been using this tool for over a year and love it. I have the premium version and it has been a life saver. Don’t know how I did it without it.

[…] Planbook EDU by clicking here!!For a more detailed review be sure to check out the award nominated iLearn Technology!! Posted by dkapuler at 7/06/2011 Labels: lesson […]

Thanks! As someone who hates writing lesson plans, this makes my life so much easier! I love the fact that I can add files. Will let you know how it works out when the new school year begins.

Thanks for the input from someone who has been using it Kathleen. We could all use more of those tools that make life easier!

I’ve always liked PlanbookEDU.

It is one of the best of its kind, but a few more options can be seen here…


Third-year teacher and first time user of both Planbookedu and Edublogs. I am going to try to convert as many people as possible to both services, as they add value, are efficient, and affordable. My real curiosity is how well my entire year’s planbook will copy to next year with slightly different start dates and holidays. If it goes smooth, this thing could be a must-have for every teacher.

Best thing I ever bought for my classroom!

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