Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

EDUCATION

The Best Virtual Tours Available

Bored at home? Have a browse through one of these champions

Photo by Gloria Villa on Unsplash

Like many teachers, I’ve been confined to teaching from behind a screen following the pandemic. Luckily, technology has provided us with a brilliant way to keep virtual education interesting.

Whether you’re a teacher preparing for the upcoming scholastic year, or a parent trying to find new ways of keeping your children entertained, virtual adventures are an innovative way of learning from home (bonus — the ones mentioned here are also free!).

Touring The World Virtually

Virtual tours have taken off exponentially since the pandemic hit. Libraries, national parks, museums, and heritage sites have all taken to the new technology to allow visitors in. Sure, it’s not the same as being there physically, but it sure beats looking at a brochure.

Some colleges and universities have also resorted to virtual campus tours for prospective students to get accustomed to the premises.

The following is a list of some of the most spectacular virtual tours available.

The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. Thanks to a host of virtual tours of the area, both children and adults can enjoy the stunning views and scenic trails from home.

There’s even a version of the virtual tour on Google Earth that allows visitors to experience the park’s various points of interest. Whether you're a geography teacher, or just interested in one of the world’s most incredible natural landmarks, the tours offer an excellent way to learn some U.S. geography, as well as the history of this monumental landmark.

Machu Picchu

Who wouldn’t want to visit a 15th-century citadel set high in the Andes Mountains? This ancient archeological site draws hundreds of visitors to Peru annually, and it’s not just for the temples themselves.

Jaw-dropping mountains and lush vegetation provide an amazing backdrop for the ancient legacy of Inca civilization. Virtual tourists can experience ancient religious, ceremonial, astronomical, and agricultural traditions of the time from the comfort of their home.

It also offers some amazing views , especially if you're into heights.

Ellis Island

Lying on the Hudson River on the way to New York from New Jersey, Ellis Island is one of the most notable historic symbols of America.

Up to 1954, this island served as the United States’ largest immigration center, with more than 12 million migrants passing through it (by ship, of course). It’s estimated that 40% of all U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors back to Ellis Island.

Today, the place is a museum and open to the public. If you’re into history, a look into this comprehensive virtual tour can’t be missed.

The Louvre

Crossing the Atlantic, the Louvre gallery in Paris also offers virtual tours.

Home to the famous Mona Lisa and plenty of other Da Vinci works, it is easily the world’s largest museum (a full physical tour would take days) as well as one of the most notable historic monuments of Europe.

The museum offers several tours, where virtual attendees can visit the exhibition rooms and galleries. Original Egyptian antiquities, the remains of the Louvre’s moat, and countless renaissance paintings are all on the list.

The Great Wall of China

The world’s largest military structure (and one of the oldest), the Great Wall of China stretches for over 13 miles and crosses several provinces of northern China and southern Mongolia.

Its history can be traced back to the fifth century B.C., but Chinese dynasties continued to build parts of it over time. Exploring sections of this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site is truly immersive, and offers an insight into the history of the Great Wall itself, as well as the culture of past civilizations.

The Hypogeum

Located on the island of Malta, the Hypogeum (literally meaning ‘underground’ in Greek) is a prehistoric sanctuary and necropolis (a large, planned cemetery) with more than 7,000 individual remains documented by archeologists over time.

The elaborate subterranean structure is one of the oldest in the world, with some parts dating back to 4,000 B.C.

A tour of the Hypogeum (even a virtual one) shouldn’t be missed. It’s also the only landmark on our list to offer almost exclusive virtual access. Since the underground temples are some of the best-preserved in the world, Heritage Malta, the organization that curates the place, only allow physical access to a select few individuals every year, making the virtual tour a much more viable option.

The Moral Of The Story

I honestly doubt there will ever be a time when virtual torus will replace physical presence.

Having said that, advances in technology, particularly in the field of virtual reality, might make such tours more widespread in the future.

Who knows what they might lead to; maybe someday we’ll be able to experience such landmarks in the same way our ancestors did, virtually living a day in their shoes.

For the time being, we’ll have to suffice with being able to visit anywhere that takes our fancy from the comfort of our homes.

Happy Trails!

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Daniel Caruana Smith

Daniel is a writer, senior teacher and geographer based in Malta. His main passion is empowering students to fulfill their aspirations and reach their goals.