Letter: Memorable experiences through virtual learning

Originally published in The Roanoke Times– May 13, 2020

Students across Virginia are now learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean they have to miss out on memorable experiences! Field trips and guest speakers provide a fun way to help expand on what students learn in the classroom by giving them enriching, engaging and often hands-on learning experiences. At Virginia Virtual Academy (VAVA), where I teach middle school students, we host virtual field trips and assemblies throughout the year.

Last year, I took my class on a 10-day virtual field trip to France. We traveled through Paris, visited World War II landmarks such as Omaha Beach and learned about French cuisine. Earlier this year, we joined thousands of students from across the US to learn about the science and stories behind the creation of the atomic bomb with a The Manhattan Project Electronic Field Trip hosted by the World War II Museum.

Virtual assemblies can also help enrich students’ online learning. We hosted an Hour of Code event where a bridge engineer from the Salem District Bridge Office gave our virtual students a presentation on how he used coding in his daily work. My students then practiced coding, many for the first time. This past week Miss America Camille Schrier shared her love of science with our students in an online assembly.

With so many resources available, students do not need to miss out on these unforgettable experiences, while learning from home.

SUZY MULLINS

ROANOKE

To learn more about Virginia Virtual Academy visit https://vava.k12.com/

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