I would collaborate with teachers all the time and listen to their frustrations about not being able to take field trips towards the end of the year. We get it. Testing. However, some field trip experiences are worthwhile and inspire rich learning. At times like this, video conferencing can save the day! CILC is one of many organizations that offer paid-for and free video conferences for students. So when my Biology 2 colleague began teaching about the heart, I was able to organize a video conference of a live dissection of a cadaver heart with AIMS program of Saint Louis University. I set up studio seating, connected a mic, and set up Zoom.
The students were so engaged in the video conference you could hear a pin fall. I thought someone might get grossed out, but pretty much everyone thought it was the coolest thing to see. In reflection, I think I would have had the students pre-prepare some questions to engage with the doctor who presented. He was attempting to talk with the students, ask questions, etc. and majority of them were just passively watching and not really interacting as much as I would have liked.
This past year, I had the pleasure of hosting a CILC conference with a NPS archaelogist for the “If Stones Could Speak” Unit in my class. It was so informative, and the kids were so engaged. The students learned all about archeologists and the process.