Pro’s and Con’s of Virtual Field Trips

The author of this post looked at the wide variety of electronic or virtual field trips (VFT’s) available on the Internet and came up with some pro’s and con’s of VFT’s:


  • No worries about bad weather, transportation, … or COVID-19 distancing.
  • Can simultaneously integrate field, laboratory and library data.
  • Show uncommon scales, viewpoints and perspectives.
  • Visit hazardous, fragile or normally inaccessible environments.


  • Limited sensory stimulation, limited to sight and sound. No touch, smell, etc.
  • A feeling for dimension, distance, size, form, topology or spatial extend.
  • * e.g., pictures of the Grand Canyon or NYC vs. visiting the Grand Canyon or NYC
  • Less chance for the “serendipitous nature of discovery”.
  • Lack of physical, hands-on activities.