ThingLink Teacher Challenge Week 3: Designing a Virtual Audio Tour

What is a virtual tour or an immersive story?  A virtual tour takes the viewer to a real or imaginary location or place that is captured in a 360 image or video.  A tour that consists of multiple images typically has 1) a theme and 2) a storyline that defines how and in which order the images connect to each other.

Starting from documenting student projects at the school grounds to traveling around the world, here are examples of the most common 360 tour themes from ThingLink users:

  1. Documenting a student project
  2. Documenting a field trip
  3. Introducing your school or library
  4. Introducing your community or neighborhood  
  5. Introducing your country
  6. Creating a tour around the world
  7. Creating a virtual lesson for students

Background audio: How does it sound out there? 

As you go through the examples, you will notice that sounds in tags or in the background of the image make the visual experience much more engaging and real. Students at very young age learn to express themselves in writing and visual arts, but what about using their own voice, sounds and music?

This week’s challenge focuses on designing a virtual tour and bringing audio design into our digital stories. Audio in this case can mean any kind of sounds that you could imagine hearing in the place where the image is taken. They can be nature sounds, steps, traffic, music, animal sounds, you name it! Alternatively, recording short narrations to introduce each scene is an excellent way for teachers to create engaging orientation materials or to let students use their own voice and practice presentation skills, see examples 2 and 5 in the list above. 

Designing a story plan

A key to a good story is creating a story plan that helps summarizing

  • What is the theme or topic of the tour?
  • What kind of images does it consist of?
  • What kind of details (if any) should each image show? (tags)
  • What kind of audio (if any) appears in the background of the images?
  • In which order should the different images appear?

There are lots of existing resources and apps available for creating story plans or storyboards. For this task, you can use any of your favorite tools, or this simple chart that helps organize ideas for each image of the tour.

More examples and inspiration!

Ready to get started or looking for more inspiration? Here are three recent posts featuring more examples and ideas how to use audio in digital storytelling. Thanks again everyone for participating and looking forward to traveling around the world with you!

Storytelling with Sound: How to Develop Digital Literacy in Immersive Learning Environments

Immersive Storytelling with 5th Graders: Documenting A Field Trip to Levi’s Stadium

Seven use cases for adding notes and narration to camera images


Ready to Create an Immersive Tour?

Go to ThingLink Teacher Challenge Central to find Task Cards and all resources for this activity and more.

ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2018 Badge

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