Welcome To Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips, LLC., specializes in the design, production and publication of educational software simulations used by children for exploration, discovery, and intrinsic learning. Ideally these products are used both before and after a real world field trip, Virtual-Real-Virtual, to more than double learning gains overall, and above one experience alone. 

Virtual field trips are not new, but The Virtual Trillium Trail, as a photo realistic, scientific visualization of  data, and simulation of a real world field trip, created in a high fidelity game engine, and used as an inexpensive virtual reality learning environment is new.

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What is this? The Virtual Trillium Trail — An Educational Simulation of the North American Deciduous Forest —  is the first software title released by Virtual Field Trips, LLC. It is a photo realistic educational simulation built on high fidelity computer game technology and used as a virtual field trip to enhance, not replace, real world field trips.  Children may choose a hawk or deer avatar to become, then immersed in imaginary play, explore the forest and learn. Learning becomes intrinsically rewarding, thus providing motivation to play without money or points. This platform offers a natural, spontaneous and emergent gameplay experience that ignites imagination, results in learning, and can be used by parents, teachers, and educators to support real world activities, not replace them.

What We Do

We design, produce, and sell virtual field trips that simulate real world field trips. We create all artwork, 3D models, environments, user interfaces, and the educational content for production quality software. Software that is kid-friendly and kid-safe. The software may be used in schools, museums, and science centers for educational outreach. These software titles are used to augment, not replace, real world informal learning experiences, based on research that shows priming, transfer, and reinforcement impacts on learning activity. The evidence also supports the value of independent play for intrinsic learning, where the user experience is sufficiently enjoyable and motivational by itself to result in significant independent learning of scientific facts and concepts.

We believe the real world learning experiences are superior, but we know the power of these realistic simulations when used for learning, and believe in their use for education. Our software is unique, because it is truly open to the individual’s freedom of choice in their exploration and inquiry. This freedom and fidelity supports the joy of discovery in providing surprises  —  salient events — and increased curiosity in beauty and facts. Thus, resulting in a change in the child’s behavior from exploration to active, engaged inquiry, making the teachable moment come alive.  We believe that software should be used as a tool for teachers and students, to support acts of learning.

Virtual reality, virtual environments, simulations, or serious games, are all terms used to describe this new form of education and entertainment. Ours is a new type of company, one that is a departure from traditional educational and computer/video-game producers and publishers, we are not focused on gamification, edutainment, or other 21st century education buzzwords. Our software harnesses the power of photo realistic, high fidelity, computer game technology to launch a line of knowledge-infused, realistic, virtual environments to natural parks and places of spectacular natural beauty. Some of these places can be found in your backyard, places filled with awe and wonder, where curiosity drives exploration and discovery, allowing environmental salient events to open the world of science to children in teachable moments. We believe in supporting children in their infinite and intrinsic quests for knowledge.

Featured in…

Remake Learning  “The Virtual Trillium Trail, Explore a virtual forest to learn more about the natural world”

PopCityIcon  INNOVATION & STARTUPS “Fox Chapel students hike the Trillium Trail virtually and in person” WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 01, 2012

pittmagsm >> Read the Spring 2012 Pitt Magazine Article about The Virtual Trillium Trail