Experiential learning resources for the innovative educator
The year 2020-2021 was a challenge for teachers, parents, and students across the board, no question. But on the upside, some really amazing and innovative remote learning activities and strategies came out of it. As a teacher myself, I am all about in-person learning. But I have found an appreciation for remote learning possibilities. Distance learning opportunities are vast now because creative teachers have stepped up. With great resources like experiential activities and continued relationship-building, it can be okay!
Experiential learning activities pave the way for distance learning that is engaging and personal. Below I've listed all of the blog posts I've written that are relevant or offer ideas for hands-on learning activities that can be done indoors, at home, on a cold/rainy day or when a pandemic hits, without fancy equipment or tech programs or the need to sit at a computer ALL DAY. You can also scroll to the bottom of the page for links for experiential activities that can be done from home.
If you're unsure of how to facilitate experiential learning, check out my experiential learning activity blog series and my self-directed learning blog series (an important characteristic of experiential learning). Once you get comfortable letting go and giving your students voice and choice in their learning, it's a cinch for you. Good luck! Please reach out if you have any questions.
Learning from Podcasts:
This post is all about great podcasts for teens that are educational in themselves or could lead to some really cool learning experiences These DO NOT need to be done in a classroom. They do not depend on the cooperation of a group. Simply have your teens listen to any number of the podcasts recommended here and have them turn it into a PBL project. Check out my Self-Directed PBL project resources at Experiential Learning Depot on TpT for quick and easy project-based learning implementation.
Combine Remote Learning with Educational Travel:
Educational travel is incredible, and if you have the flexibility, consider taking learning on the road. This is a good option for homeschoolers. There is so much to learn from travel including skills such as planning and organization and content such as geography concepts, budgeting, inquiry skills, collaboration, global awareness, and more.
I have many free educational travel resources in my TpT store, all of which require no more than a computer and internet. You can also check out my educational travel blog series, which includes a post on how to add self-directed project-based learning activities to educational travel experiences.
Ways to Use Google Maps in Project-Based Learning:
Google Maps has so much to offer as far as its capacity for learning experiences. It is one of my favorite ed tech tools. At first sight it seems that it can only be used to direct someone from point A to point B. But it can also be used to tell a story, to share history, to map out a hypothetical travel experience, to put together a hometown tour, and more. And all of this can be done from a computer from home. Click on the green title above head to this blog post for more ideas on how to use Google Maps as an online learning tool.
100 Final Product Ideas to Demonstrate Learning:
This large list of ways to demonstrate learning comes in handy for project-based learning at home. If a student is researching COVID-19, for example, a final product is what they would create to demonstrate what they have learned about that topic, such as creating an animation on viral transmission. Poster boards can get a bit tired. Most of the final products ideas listed on this post require few materials. All they really need is the internet or basic office/school supplies. Have your students or children bookmark this page on their computer, or if they have the option, print it out and post it somewhere they can easily reference it. As students design projects, they can refer to this list, and add some new final product ideas to it as it as they come up!
So much learning happens in the kitchen! Math, science, social/emotional learning, inquiry skills, and more! Cooking is a great way for kids to use their hands, connect with you and/or their siblings, learn a lot, build skills, and have a good time. It's also integrative and is a great way to differentiate learning based on skill level, age, interests and more. Check out these awesome kitchen inquiry ideas.
Snow Day/ Rainy Day STEM Activities:
All of the STEM ideas in this post can be done inside with very few resources. It's amazing what you can do with some cardboard. Start collecting all of those Amazon boxes and toilet paper rolls that you've been stocking up on!
Experiential Learning on the Cheap:
One concern about taking learning home is the lack of resources. You may think your students homes are not set up for "schooling". They don't need to be. This post provides a few ways to implement experiential learning activities without spending a dime. Some of the suggestions will not apply here, but many of them will. Pick through what will work for you and your current situation. At the end of the day, all you need is the internet. You don't need a smart board, cutsie posters with educational quotes, a 3D printer, or even a regular printer!
Experiential learning involves using the community as a resource. Students can do this through email, conference calls, and phone calls. Experiential education calls for innovation, authenticity, self-direction, and reflection. All of that can be accomplished without leaving home.
Take Learning Outdoors:
Get kids outside, even it that means right outside their front doors. They could go for a walk, explore their own backyards, head to local parks if that is an option, and more. Taking learning outdoors is great for mental health, inquiry skills, character-building, and os much more.
Click the green link above to check out how to take learning outdoors. You can also take a look at some remote experiential learning activity examples that I did with my own children when they were distance learning. These activities apply to all ages. These activity schedules included themes from climate change, to machines, to plant ecology, real-world math projects, design thinking, and more.
High School Experiential Learning Activities for Remote Learning
Follow Experiential Learning Depot on Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram for more on experiential education, and check out my TpT store for experiential learning resources.
Did you know there is an experiential learning Facebook group? Check that out - Experiential Learning Community for K12 Teachers - and join in the discussion about experiential learning.
Observe. Question. Explore. Share.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.