Hi Sandra, I can't speak to field trips in NY since I live in AZ, but I do have some ideas for virtual field trips.
ReadWriteThink has a fun activity called Take a Virtual Field Trip. Students can go on virtual field trips to zoos and observe animals through webcams.
I heard a creative idea from a teacher on one of my webinars and you can adapt it to fit your curriculum and the interest of your students. The teacher connected with a park ranger in Africa and she had her students write postcards to the lions in Africa. Then the teacher sent the postcards to the park ranger in Africa. You could team up with a park ranger in your area.
I also found a cool interactive field trip site by searching what other Community Members had bookmarked.
It will be fun to hear others' ideas:) Tammy
If you are interested in early American history, be sure to check out Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trips. The opportunities to explore Williamsburg and Jamestown are awesome. If you subscribe, students can actually participate live during the field trips without ever leaving their classrooms. My cousin initially helped film these docu-dramas, and now he is one of the vice-presidents for Colonial Williamsburg.
Great discussion! With continued tight budgets, students experiencing a virtual trip is the next best thing to actually being there.
I look forward to reading more ideas from the Community.
I'm not sure if a pre-recorded program is what you're looking for, but our America on the Move electronic field trip, on transportation and immigration, might work for your group. It's designed for slightly older students, but perhaps there are parts that would be appropriate for your students.
National Museum of American History
There are several other discussions in the Verizon Thinkfinity 101 Community which deal with the subject of virtual field trips and the use of videoconferencing. Some of these discussions may give you additional ideas.
It will be fun to hear from you which virtual field trips you try with your third graders and how well the experience worked for your class.
A fantastic resource for a virtual field trips is Google Lit Trips. It is constantly being updated with new trips that correspond with books for kids of all ages.
I used a virtual field trip when I read Make Way for Ducklings to a first grade class. They loved being able to follow along with the ducklings as they moved through the city.
Another idea for field trips is to have students create their own virtual field trips using Google Earth or Google Maps. Students can create a virtual trip of their neighborhood, a recent vacation, or their dream vacation.
If you have tried the virtual field trips offered via Google Lit Trips as mentioned by Crystal, you may want to look at some other Google tools that enhance classroom instruction. There is a new groupDo You Google? whose members are discussing the great Google tools that are transforming classrooms. In addition to joining the group, you may have Google tools you use with your students that you can share with the other group participants.
I look forward to reading more of your posts.