Cyber Trips: Washington D.C.
I found Cyber Trips to be a very fun and exciting way to learn some of the history behind Washington D.C., as well as many other historical places. While there are some minor problems, Cyber Trips is an effective learning tool that could be easily utilized in the classroom setting. Upon logging on to classroom.com, I came across my first problem. The directions for registration are vague and require you to figure your way through the process. This is something that can easily be rectified by placing an icon on the beginning screen for newcomers.
After my initial glitch, I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information available to my students at the click of a button. During my Cyber Trip, I learned about the historical background of Washington D.C.' s many monuments, along with places such as the White House and The National Archives. I liked the ability to go and visit places outside Washington D.C. like Monticello and Mount Vernon. I read about Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and was also pleased with the setup of the manual that accompanied Cyber Trip.
At first glance, the manual is rather wordy and may turn students off before they begin. However, once inside, the format is rather helpful. I especially like the idea of having the students actually figure out the travel costs. This is an important concept often lost on children. A minor problem that I came across in the manual is an aesthetic one. In the upper left corner of all the tour stop pages is a picture of the capitol building. It would be more effective to provide a small picture of the place you are going to visit that day. All in all, I found my first Cyber Trip to be a fun and exciting experience. I am positive that my students will share my excitement of learning about our nation's capitol.
Dennis Holler, Technology Educator
Englewood High School
Foster City, CA
This article originally appeared in the 11/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.