Much can be gained from a field trip to a great museum in art, history, science or Jewish culture. However, regular museum trips are often not feasible in a classroom setting due to geographical and time constraints. With the help of the Internet and a classroom projector or laptop cart these museums can be brought to school through their excellent websites. For an article on the advantages of taking a virtual museum field trip with your class from Education World Magazine click here: http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr057.shtml One suggestion that has worked for me is to create a webquest or scavenger hunt based on one or more of the museum websites in which students answer a series of short answer and/or essay type questions based on their exploration of the virtual musuem.
Here is a list of some of my favorite online museums:
http://www.yadvashem.org/Yad Vashem has dozens of online exhibitions, a Shoah victim's database, and a secton for educators.
http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/ The Jewish Museum offers interactive online exhibitions of its acclaimed permanent exhbition and many of its current and past exhibitions.
http://www.bh.org.il/index.htmlBeth Hatefusoth: Museum of the Jewish Diaspora offers
Virtual Exhibitions on The Gaon of Vilna, Jews of Mexico, Jews of Romania, Jews in Arab Lands, and In the Land of Hagar (Jews of Hungary). Also notable are the database of family names and Jewish genealogy links.
http://www.cityofdavid.org.il/ The City of David is an internationally award winning website offers spectacular panoramic views of Jerusalem from biblical times until today.
http://yumuseum.org/ Yeshiva University Museum offers online exhibition of some of its best collections. Here are 2 notable ones:
- http://www.printingthetalmud.org/ The exhibition on the printing of the Talmud includes fantastic photos of manuscripts and editions of the Talmud from the 6th century until modern times as well as interesting video footage of the world of the Yeshiva some as old as the early 1900s.
- http://yumuseum.org/dreyfus.html Alfred Dreyfus: The Fight for Justice features photos and information about the famous Dreyfus Affair.
http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/index.html The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia, one of the world's premier art museums offers on its website a Virtual Visit in which you can see many of the art masterpieces as well as panaoramic views of the various rooms in the museum.
http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en The Louvre in France offers on its website virtual tours and a Kaleidoscope of visual themes arranged by topic. Topics include daily life, mythology, and religious and profane.
http://www.metmuseum.org/ The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers collection highlights and a searchable database of over 30,000 works of art.
http://www.american-mnh.org The American Museum of Natural History offers most of its best exhibits online. These exhibits are visually stunning, have many virtual tours and contain teacher's guides as well.
http://www.msichicago.org/ The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a wealth of online exhibits and archives of past exhibitions.
http://www.lsc.org/ The Liberty Science Center has an Exhibits Live feature that lets you interactively explore many exhibits.