Category Archives: Blog

Top Reasons Why Educational Travel is Important

How important is educational travel? Education plays a very important role in shaping one’s life. Education doesn’t just provide a person with knowledge on how to read and write but it teaches a person to find out the reasons behind anything. To be more effective, education must not be limited to classroom activities. Students must be given a chance to experience “hands-on” what they learn in a classroom. A way of providing the students to bridge the gap between classroom education and hands-on experience is through educational travel.

Educational Travel Immerses Students to History

History is primarily learned from books and elaborated in the classroom. However, learning is enhanced even more if students get the experience to feel and see what it is exactly like during a particular historical event. An educational trip to Washington DC could bring students to an adventure they will never forget. The rich history of Washington DC will provide students a more personal experience of the Vietnam War. The Lincoln Memorial will bring personal experience to students on how President Lincoln and Martin Luther King led movements to end slavery in the Southern states. An educational tour in Washington DC can bring alive a bunch of US history to the students.

Educational Travel Immerses Students to Nature

Science lessons about nature and wildlife will be more fun and interesting if students learn them outside of the classroom. The National Geographic Museum in Times Square, New York will immerse students into the wildlife of the Pacific Ocean. Have the students encounter underwater creatures like dolphins, whales, sharks, etc. The National Geographic Museum will bring the students the feeling of a real-life encounter with the beauty of the ocean.

An educational trip to Atlanta will also bring exciting nature experiences to students. The Georgia Aquarium will take the students to a close encounter with the creatures from the sea. River Scout enhances students’ understanding of other animals that inhabit the rivers of Georgia, South America, Africa, and Asia.
Zoo Atlanta is known for the giant pandas from China named Yang Yang and Lun Lun. The zoo also houses various mammals and over 50 species of birds. Students can also experience the world of botany through Zoo Atlanta’s tropical garden.

A few hours of travel from Atlanta to Chattanooga exposes the students to its rich history and exceptional geologic formations. From Rock City, students will witness the breathtaking views of Chattanooga. The Ruby Falls exhibits the amazing cave system beneath the Lookout Mountain.
Educational Travel Eases Away Classroom Boredom

Boredom is a result of monotonous activity in classroom learning which can hinder the learning eagerness of students and may result in lower grades. From time to time, students need a breather – outside the classroom and being in a new environment that encourages new ways of learning. Studies prove that out-of-classroom learning activities increase the students’ grade levels to more than 60%.
Educational Travel Encourages Social Growth

Educational travel creates interactions among students. Students are also exposed to interacting with strangers and tour guides. These interactions help students learn more by exchanging views and experiences with each other. Asking questions from tour guides can also help develop an inquisitive mind among students as well as expose them to a better understanding of life. Additionally, students get to bond with their classmates in a new environment and gives them an opportunity to learn more about each other as well.

Conclusion

Educational travel is a very important part of learning that every educational institution must include in its curriculum. It is a fun way of educating students not only through academics but also a way to expose them to a wide range of skills in life. Educational travel allows students to understand various cultural differences, which could be of good use to them when they get to meet people from different cultures. For the reason that educational travel allows the students to be immersed in fresh experiences, it helps students to plan on what career path to take. Lastly, educational travel helps students make lifetime memories that they can share with classmates, friends, and family.

Educational Travel Tips Worth Considering

Educational Travel Tips Worth Considering

Education travel is one good way of enhancing the learning experience of students. There is this old saying that “experience is the best teacher”, and this has already been proven by many in various circumstances. Students indeed learn from the classroom setting, in fact, it is in the classroom where learning takes place most of the time. However, educational travel provides more enhancements to classroom learning by immersing students into real-life experiences. Educational travel, to be more effective must be well-planned and organized. Here are some educational travel tips worth considering.

Tell Students What to Expect
Schools need to manage the expectations of students. Let students learn more about what to expect in educational travel. Brief students on the procedures and how to prepare and behave themselves during the trip. Plan well and prepare a good itinerary. Allow a draft of a contingency plan in case unexpected circumstances happen.

Involve Students in Planning
By allowing students to participate in the planning of the trip, the school is providing them indirect leadership training. Moreover, learning what the students think about the trip will help organizers to come up with activities that would be more of the interest of the pupils.
Involve the Parents Too

Educational travel needs to gain support from parents. Involving parents will help a direct question-and-answer exchange between organizers and the parents. Issues will be resolved first hand. Moreover, it helps to reassure parents that educational travel is well planned and that their children are secured during the whole trip. It also helps by giving the parents an idea of how the trip is going to directly benefit their children.
Provide Background about the Educational Travel

Organizers need to set objectives so that students will learn what they will be aiming to achieve on the trip. If the trip is about enhancing the learning experience of students in history, then they shall be briefed about the educational travel in a historical site. Give background to students on how they will benefit from the trip.

For example, a trip to Washington DC will immerse the students in the rich history of how slavery ended in the Southern states. A tour of the memorials and monuments can bring a deep feeling on how American soldiers bravely fought in the Vietnam War. The Women’s Memorial will teach the students the value of sacrificing for others and dedication to service.
Lincoln Memorial showcases the Korean War. From there, students will be immersed in the heroic act of the Americans by aiding the South Korean army against the invasion of North Korea. There are more attractions in Washington DC that can bring history alive, and surely experiencing an educational trip will open up the eyes of the students on the values associated with history. Washington DC has a lot more to offer when it comes to educational travel aiming students to broaden their historical knowledge. You can learn more about our Washington DC trips here.
If the aim of the educational tour is to immerse the students in living life with nature, then a science trip would be more beneficial. The National Geographic Museum in Times Square New York will immerse teachers and students in life in the wild. Learning about wildlife in the Pacific Ocean is showcased in the museum.

Atlanta Georgia also has a rich geological history to share with students through the Fernbank Museum. Students will be immersed in the prehistoric times as they will be brought in a close-up view of the dinosaurs. The Fernbank Museum is also known for the IMAX theater.
Discuss the Trip Back in the Classroom

Once the educational travel is over, students are equipped with fresh knowledge, stories to tell, and experiences to share. It helps them relive the experience by bringing back the trip to the classroom. Let discussions about the trip be encouraged. Have time to discuss what they learned about the trip and teachers may participate to share what they have learned as well.

Educational travel is a creative way of extending the learning process of students. The best way to have a successful and meaningful trip is through extensive, well-thought-out planning. Educational Travel Consultants will help you plan an exciting and memorable trip that students and teachers will remember for years to come!

National Geographic Museum in Times Square

         Through the hustle and bustle of New York City is the heart of Times Square which offers a variety of souvenir shopping, Broadway shows, restaurants and live entertainment. The newest addition to Times Square is the National Geographic Museum. This educational staple immerses you and your students into the wild life. The National Geographic is notable for their variety of non-fictional articles and shows based on documentaries, entertainment, politics, nature and music.

The new museum is based on the wildlife throughout the Pacific Ocean. Your students will encounter whales, sharks, dolphins, and much more. The technology the National Geographic museum provides will make you feel like you are stepping into their notable magazine past the yellow outline and into the ocean. This is a New York City site that you won’t want to miss. Contact your ETC Tour Consultant for more information.

Educational Student Trip to New York City

 

The very first question that the amazing tour directors at Educational Travel Consultants are asked when they arrive in New York City is, why did New York City decide to name one of its major cities after the state? Well, our guides always have the answer. In 1664, New York was named by the British in honor if the Duke of York and Albany.  He was the brother of the famous King Charles II. After New Amsterdam was taken away from the Dutch, New York City became the name of this major city. One of the most popular areas in New York City is Times Square. There is always time allotted for our groups to discover Times Square in all of Educational Travel Consultants itineraries, for groups that want it. With the flashy billboards and neon lights, there is no better place to be. Educational Travel Consultants also offers a guided tour of the city, and of course, a chance to experience Ellis Island and Liberty Island. Along with these amazing attractions, the group gets to experience a world renowned Broadway Musical! We are happy to customize a trip to your specific needs and wants. Educational Travel Consultants will provide  your students an  experience of a lifetime. We know that that a majority of your children  will only experience this exciting adventure once in their lives! Educational Travel Consultants is here to make your trip plans reality.

The Presidential Inauguration

                      Blog Picture for Inauguration                      The Presidential Inauguration is a ceremony that dates back to George Washington. Did you know that inauguration day wasn’t always on January 20th? It used to be held on March 4th. So, why the long wait? Well, back before all the technological wonders of today, it used to take a tremendous amount of time for the President Elect to get his administration together. Once it was discovered that it would no longer take as long, America decided on a new date, which is the one we use today. And, not all inaugurations since the change have actually been on January 20th. President Barack Obama was sworn in as our President on January 21st, 2013. This is because the 20th fell on a Sunday.

The inauguration procedure is based more on tradition than the constitution. The Constitution only states that the President must take the oath of office. The oath is the very first thing that happens on inauguration day. Though it is not the President’s. Before the President Elect is sworn in the Vice President elect must be sworn in. Then, the President is sworn in. After all the oaths are taken, the new President will address the nation. As the former President exits the White House, the new President has an inaugural luncheon, followed by the famous Inaugural Parade. The very last thing that happens on the day of inauguration is the Inaugural ball.

This year, this historical day falls on a Friday. This is the day that we, as Americans, welcome Donald J. Trump as our 45th President. This will be a very educational day, which only comes once every four years. Here at Educational Travel Consultants, we have several groups attending the inauguration. We always get great feedback, the wonder in a child’s eye as they watch hope and dreams come true as the President is sworn in to do the most amazing job in the world is. Every Inauguration is different, but very important. For the schools that are attending the 2017 inauguration, seem to be excited and hopeful for their trip.

Happy Traveling!

ETC Team
Educational Travel Consultants
(P)828-693-0412
(F) 828-693-1591
(TF) 800-247-7969
www.educationaltravelconsultants.com

 

Brooklyn Street Art Tours for Students

Traveling to New York City to see the magnificent street art is a great experience for students who enjoy art. Add to that, the city lights and diverse cultures, this is a trip to remember. New York City thrives on individuality and creativity. From the awe-inspiring Broadway shows to Central Park where artists are as common as blades of grass, New York City is the place to travel to for inspiration and stimulation. Whereas in other big cities graffiti is looked at in a negative light, NYC broadcasts the beautiful art as a part of their heritage and culture. Graffiti started as early as ancient Rome, but the Urban Graffiti style started in New York City in the late 1960s. Brooklyn Street Art Tours are the newest trend to get students out of the traditional art show setting and into the heart of the city to experience the culture of the people who dwell there.

The Brooklyn Street art tour that is offered by Educational Travel Consultants provides an inside look at the various graffiti art and artists. Students will take a walking tour through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, including Bushwick and Williamsburg. What is great about this particular tour is that no two will be alike. With the ever-changing skyline of New York and the influx of graffiti artists to the area, new “canvases” are being unveiled daily. Your students will experience the dizzying collections of urban images that give testament to the vibrant culture that makes New York City a true melting pot of the world. Please contact one of our representatives or visit our website to book a Brooklyn Street Art tour with Education Travel Consultants.

bsa-most-popular-murals-of-2015-street-art-new-york-brooklyn-ernest-zacharevi

Blended Learning About Wildlife: Saint John’s River and the Hontoon Dead River in Florida

manatee_experience-300x198by Howard Clemens

September through May is an excellent time to take student travel groups on an eco tour of the Saint John’s River. Student travelers will be fascinated by the famous manatee, the gigantic sea creature with a Buddha-like personality. At the intersection of Blue Spring State Park and Saint John’s River, students are likely to see this joyous creature that visits the back-waterways of Florida seasonally, where there are warm waters and plenty to eat.

The world of reptiles, wading birds and more awaits the eager student of the environment who will learn more about Central Florida through active immersion in the natural world.

Classroom Preparation for the Adventure of Saint John’s River
Have students engage in online studies about wading birds such as the blue heron, wood duck or water thrushes. In reptile species, students can investigate alligators, turtles, frogs, lizards or snakes – all plentiful in the Central Florida region. Or, perhaps they are interested in studies about bottlenose dolphins and river otters or even muskrats- all native to this eco-system.

Why Are People So Fascinated with the Manatee?
Also known as the ‘sea cow’ the manatee has a bizarre yet fascinating appearance. Its overly large body is buoyant while its head is small in comparison. A set of docile eyes gives the manatee the natural look of compassion and empathy not seen in many species. The manatee lives in the Saint John’s River from November-March. During this time no swimming or boating activity may occur at manatee protected areas – including Blue Spring State Park. Student travel groups may still observe them in their winter habitat. This part of Saint John’s River provides the warmth and food the manatee need and all who visit love to gaze on the many manatee that gather in the River.

Riverboat tours of the Saint John’s River
The upper Saint John’s River provides diverse swampy habitats and boating activities are not restricted during manatee season. Upriver, there are an assortment of riverboat tours to choose from. Schedule a boat tour in advance in conjunction with a student travel company. Touring the river like this will give students a chance for close observation of many species of mammals, reptiles or birds they have studied beforehand. A science or environment teacher’s presence enhances the experience. On board, students will listen as a tour guide points out and describes different habitats and parts of the river, while students look closely for the animals that live in Central Florida’s inland rivers.

Facts About the Saint John’s River & the Hontoon Dead River in Florida
The Saint Johns River is unusual because it flows south to north, is relatively young (5,000 years old), and runs a length of 310 miles. Yet, it flows very slowly, making it the perfect environment for a student group study of an eco system. The Saint Johns River basin is inhabited by 3.5 million people and spans 8,840 square miles. The northern end is in a warm temperate climate while the southern end of Saint John’s River is in a subtropical climate. This student tour focuses on the area close to Orlando, or Central Florida.

A canal links the Saint John’s River to the Hontoon Dead River. A dead river is very much alive. What distinguishes it from other rivers is there is little current. Snake Creek is another tributary that surrounds Hontoon Island State Park. This is another warm water refuge for manatees and is protected by the State of Florida. Manatees are reportedly friendly to paddlers on the Hontoon Dead River. The marshy landscape beyond the island is lined by Cypress Swamps and hardwood hammocks. Here, waterfowl, reptiles and various swamp vegetation can be studied by student groups. The slow movement of the river is an advantage.

Central Florida Eco Tour for Student Travelers
With a span of 310 miles there is so much to see on the Saint Johns River. Each of the tributaries has something different to offer, too. The most exciting thing for students will most likely be sighting manatees or even getting close. However, boat tours can only get so close to see them in season without disrupting their protected natural environments. The boat tour has a great deal to offer student groups by passing through different environments on the river, illustrating diversity of habitat and species.

Post Trip Sharing
Many students will want to post photos to their individual Facebook accounts. Why not make a community Facebook page just for the adventure? If set-up of a special page is too complicated, consider asking the educational tour company to use their Facebook page to share these outdoor adventures. What is important is sharing in one place on the Web, to gain differing perspectives. Pictures and captions of the class trip to Central Florida are sure to be colorful. Sharing is a great way to engender learning.

Have students collect information about the mammals, reptiles, or waterfowl they choose to study. Share the experience of seeing actual manatee in one whole class session – using photos, film and writings captured along the way.

Choose a seasoned student travel company to help make a visit to Saint John’s River spectacular and fun. Email: info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Students Travel to New York City and Washington D.C. from the Bahamas

For the past dozen years, Angela Culmer, an elementary school teacher at Queen’s College in the Bahamas, has taken her 5th and 6th grade classes to Washington D.C., Atlanta and recently, New York City, to take part in an educational tour.

Culmer structures the custom tours with Educational Travel Consultants, a company based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. “We incorporate science, history, social studies, language and literature on these tours,” says Culmer. Teachers give the children questionnaires, instruct them to take notes and give them challenges like taking photographs and naming historic sites. “The kids love it. They soak it up,” says Culmer.

For an educator, custom designed student tours are an excellent way to synchronize a curriculum to a student trip. “I just let Educational Travel Consultants know what I want to do with my student group, and they find it for me,” commented Culmer.

While visiting Washington D.C. in 2014, students went to the National Air and Space Museum. “We spent a great deal of time at this museum. The students love the interactive exhibits, the different planes from World War II and they really loved the flight simulator,” said Culmer. Another destination in New York City they visited was the 911 Memorial (the 911 Museum was not yet open at the time of their trip). “The children have an understanding of what happened on September 11, 2001, even though they are only 10 years old. The visit to the 911 Memorial was a “reality check for them,” commented Culmer.

The other major sites visited in New York City included Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, and a trip to Broadway to see “Momma Mia.” Culmer included these performance venues in the student trip because in the Bahamas, students “don’t get to see this level of professional performance like they do in the City of New York.”

Washington D.C is another popular place for student travelers to absorb some American history and culture. In addition to the usual visit to the White House and Capitol, Culmer schedules time at the Embassy of the Bahamas. “Students have on overview of why the Bahamas has an embassy in Washington D.C. and its purpose,” says Culmer. “If a Bahaman attends school in the United States, they must register at the Embassy, in case anything ever happens, they have somewhere to go,” she added.

Other sites visited in the Washington D.C. area included Mount Vernon and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Culmer said the living history actors at Mount Vernon spoke directly to her students and stayed in character. The student travel group also visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore. “There are many different aquariums in the Bahamas. But there’s still a great deal to see in Baltimore, because the environment is different, there is much to learn,” said Culmer.

The student trips have been a great success throughout the years. Queen’s College music department will be sponsoring a trip to Atlanta in January of 2015 to participate in the Battle of the Bands. As far as recruiting teachers, chaperones and students to attend these trips, “They absolutely love traveling to the United States. In fact, there are usually teachers vying to go,” said Culmer.

Historical sites, cultural venues, dining, shopping and entertainment are on the itinerary for a trip to the U.S. However, Culmer believes there are even more valuable lessons to be learned from such travel. “One of the primary learning experiences of this type of trip is that children learn to travel on their own (without their family members),” observes Culmer. “Students learn to be independent and handle their own money, too,” she added. With student travel to the U.S., all of these life lessons combine to offer them a wonderful opportunity to grow intellectually and socially.

For more information on student group travel visit Educational Travel Consultants online.

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art: New Eyes on the Old World

national-museum-african-artby Howard Clemens

Visit one of the most popular museums in Washington DC and provide for your students a window into the cradle of civilization. First Lady Michelle Obama recently said, “Learning through the arts reinforces critical academic skills . . . and provides students with the skills to creatively solve problems.”

Take student travel groups on docent-led tours of the permanent and visiting and traveling exhibitions, or let them hook into an audio device and tour on their own. The museum website has easy access forms to plan your visit for both tours and museum staff-led workshops. Specific tours – such as the Jambo tour – will be tailored to elementary, junior high or high school curricular needs.

Permanent Exhibits at the National Museum of African Art in D.C.
The National Museum of African Art is often missed by student groups visiting Washington D.C., yet it contains one of the most staggering collections of African art on display in the world. Touring the museum will complement many types of African studies in literature, the arts, politics, and more. This museum is an excellent way to incorporate diversity into any student tour of Washington D.C. and just about any curriculum.

Extensive African Photographs Available for Viewing by Student Groups
At the Museum, student travel groups will find over 350,000 items on display in the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, and that’s just one small portion of the Museum. Here students may also become familiar with the large number of African mosaics on display as well as rare sub-Saharan art on permanent loan from the Walt Disney-Tishman collection. In 2005 the Disney Foundation gave the museum 525 pieces of African art that includes a beautiful 19th century female figure carved from ivory. Since the 1960’s, this particular collection has greatly influenced the study of African art.

Artistic Dialogues Between African and African Diaspora in America
Also on display until January of 2016 is the Conversations exhibit where African art and artists are in conversation with African American art and artists. These contributions help celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary, providing fruitful dialogue between Africa and the African diaspora. A few of the topics as part of the Conversations exhibit include “Spirituality, Power and Politics, Nature as Metaphor, and the popular Music and Urban Culture.”

Special Exhibitions
There is a special exhibition for the museum’s anniversary called “Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean.” The dance and music of the Omani people from East Africa are celebrated. The Al Najoom Dance Troupe is one of the most talented dance groups of Oman and they have been performing for over fifteen years, telling audiences the rich history of their culture through movement and sound. The dances they share are used for religious ceremony as well as everyday life.

Maya Angelou’s Legacy is Celebrated by Museum
The Smithsonian’s mission statement is, “To inspire conversations about the beauty, power, and diversity of African arts and culture worldwide.” The recent death of African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has been on the minds of museum curators and staff. Not long before her death the poet had a public conversation with the museum director Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole. You can view that conversation online at this link: http://youtu.be/e8S-mNq3ypg

Online Resources for Student Tour Leaders Preparing to Go to D.C.
Students and faculty can enjoy glimpses at the permanent collection and peek at upcoming traveling exhibitions online at this link: http://africa.si.edu. At the bottom right corner of the Home Page look for the “Radio Africa” link. Students can listen to this 24-hour radio program curated by the museum staff, sampling music from every corner of the African continent. Contact a student travel professional to arrange student group docent-led tours, or signup the class for workshops like the quilt collage workshop. There are also online galleries of student artwork made in the museum workshops or back at home in the classroom after returning from the museum tour.

The National Museum of African Art originally opened its doors with the help of Warren Robbins in June of 1964 in a townhouse that was the home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Today it stands a world-class museum with visitors from every corner of the globe, helping place Africa at the center of conversation on the origins of humanity. On display until September, 2015 is a commemorative exhibition: Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria. These historic photographs did a marvelous job documenting the rituals and regalia of the court for more than fifty years, and provide a historical record of studio photography in West Africa. There has never been a better time to bring the class to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

For more information on creating a student travel itinerary of Washington D.C. that includes a visit to the National Museum of African Art, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.