Virtual Field Trip: The Lincoln Memorial

The Education Techie writes about tech tools that can help students and teachers. Have you ever wanted to take an educational field trip to a place that is too far away to reasonably visit? Thanks to the Internet, many educationally rich locations are just a few clicks away. Today, the Techie will show you how to take a virtual field trip to the Lincoln Memorial.

What You Can See

This website from the National Parks Service gives users who are unable to visit the Lincoln Memorial a detailed look at the historic landmark. The site provides a lot of good information that can be used in classrooms. The two main features are interactive panoramic photographs and 'Reflections,' a series of interviews with National Parks Service Rangers. There is also background on the Memorial's history.

lincoln memorial virtual field trip

In the panoramas, you can zoom in on details of the Memorial, like the inscription of Lincoln's Gettysburg and second inaugural addresses, the statue of Lincoln (pictured above) and the painted murals by Jules Guerin. The interactive feature also allows you to see the Memorial from the outside and take in views of the National Mall, including the reflecting pool and the Washington Monument, from the Memorial. All of the panoramas have zooming and fullscreen viewing capabilities.

In addition to these features, you can also view the space around the Memorial and the on-site museum. The most detailed elements of the virtual tour are close-ups of Lincoln's speeches and writings, such as the Emancipation Proclamation, which are featured in the museum space.

The 'Reflections' section (pictured below) adds educational depth and a touch of human warmth to the site. In these video interviews, rangers talk about their personal experiences with the Memorial. Some discuss it in the context of the Civil Rights Movement while others share impressions and insider knowledge that can help viewers learn new details about the Memorial.

park ranger lincoln memorial reflections

How It Works

Navigation around the site is very straightforward, and overall, it is very easy to use. Users can move around between the different features of the site by using buttons on a menu that is always present at the bottom of the screen. The interview videos are easy to play and move through using a few simple play, pause and play next buttons. You can also select videos using the thumbnail images from each on the 'Reflections' homepage.

The panoramas are also very user friendly. If you hover your mouse over a feature that has more detail than is given in the initial picture, it will highlight and allow you to click. This feature is common on elements like engraved words and murals, allowing users to get a better look. You can switch your view by clicking on the green arrows that are featured throughout the photographs. In the panorama view, there is a menu on the left side of the window that has a map of the Memorial's layout; you can use this map to navigate around and look at different pictures. The level of detail and ease of use makes this site an impressive, valuable educational resource.

This isn't the first virtual field trip that the Techie has taken. Previously, we showed you how to go to the Vatican and Monticello from the comfort of your classroom. The Education Techie will keep searching for virtual field trip opportunities, so stay tuned for more!

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