Category : Monthly Inspiration

Featured project: POKE vocational college brings virtual tours to learning in Microsoft Teams

POKE vocational college has made virtual tours an integral part of their learning environment in Microsoft Teams. This example shows how they are used to increase flexibility in learning and to develop future skills.

Pekka Ouli works as an eLearning specialist at POKE vocational college in Finland. He is one of the early adopters of virtual tours in vocational education, integrating them both to teaching materials as well as student presentations. 

Image: Pekka Ouli from POKE vocational college is an active MIE Expert

Like many other vocational colleges, POKE accepts new students around the year. They come from different cities or countries, and many have previous experience from working life. The increased demand for flexibility and easy access led Pekka to start building a digital learning environment in MS Teams that would be accessible to students 24/7, from school or from home. Here, they could find materials for the different programs and degrees, participate in discussions and get feedback for their work. Being one of the early adopters of 360 degree media technology, virtual tours and their creation with ThingLink became a natural part of this environment.

“In our case, ThingLink is part of the basic toolset that students get when they begin studying at POKE. We train them to use Teams, ThingLink, and Adobe  Students typically learn these tools very fast.”

Video: POKE vocational college collaboration space in Microsoft Teams Mobile app incorporates ThingLink to give students access to virtual tours from their mobile phones.

Orientation to physical working environments

Several areas of technical education contain specific knowledge about the physical space where the work is done. This knowledge is difficult to share without visiting the place in person. For example, if you study to become an emergency room nurse, orientation in the space is an important part of the training.  The same logic applies to other areas such as construction engineering.

At POKE, virtual orientations to the school campus and different working environments are accessible both from the MS Teams desktop and mobile applications. These orientations may be created by teachers or learning specialists such as Pekka or by students themselves. 

“Micorosft Teams is our home base for all materials, but it is great that when our students use ThingLink to create virtual tours, these tours can also be shared with external partners on other platforms and websites, or as stand-alone VR experiences.”  

Image: A tour to the biotechnology campus by students of the POKE Digilab

360 degree storytelling as part of the curriculum

Another use case for virtual tours in vocational training has to do with learning relevant future skills.  For example, at POKE one of the general course modules in ICT studies is called “Future technologies”. In this course, students learn to use VR and AR technologies through various projects. An example of this kind of project was a collaboration with the city of Äänekoski: over 1000 people contributed to building Äänekoski in Minecraft.  To showcase this project to people who did not have a Minecraft account, the POKE students used 360 captures annotated with ThingLink. 

 Image: A 360 capture of a virtual city in Minecraft was annotated with ThingLink and shared on multiple platforms to showcase the collaborative project

In a collaborative project with the city, POKE students created virtual tours from different locations and places that are popular tourist attractions in the city of Äänekoski. These tours were made accessible in the various info points for tourists using VR glasses. Another group of students is currently exploring the use of virtual tours to familiar places in occupational therapy.

Image:A patient in occupational therapy is exploring a virtual tours with students from POKE vocational college

Summary and results:

POKE vocational college uses Microsoft Teams as their digital learning environment, and virtual tours of real-world working environments are a part of this environment. For example, virtual tours to the campus or to physical working environments such as the emergency room and construction sites are provided as course materials in the different learning modules. These tours are accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

All students are equipped with the same tools from the beginning of their studies. 360 degree virtual tour creation is taught as a future ICT skill, any student at the vocational college has access to this course module.

Results:

  • Increased flexibility for students in different locations to access course materials and turn in assignments on any device
  • Improved access to physical locations (e.g. emergency room, construction site) via virtual tours
  • A new option to develop contextual knowledge of a real-world environment in the cloud
  • Ability to share materials to multiple platforms and invite collaborators to view students’ work.

Inspired by Pekka’s example? Contact our team for more information at education@thinglink.com or say hi to Pekka on Facebook.

 

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THINGLINK RELEASES FREE 360 IMAGES TO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES AND INVITES TEACHERS TO CREATE LESSONS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

A GLOBAL TEACHER CHALLENGE

ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2019 focuses on developing digital storytelling skills in the context of cultural heritage and sustainable development. We invite teachers from different countries and regions to include virtual field trips in lesson plans, and to create new immersive learning experiences in multiple languages.  

A FREE 360 IMAGE LIBRARY

Appreciation of different cultures and the legacy of past generations often starts from a personal experience. This is why we have put together a collection of professional 360 images of some of the most prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Viewing these images on computers, mobile devices, or mobile VR headsets does not require a ThingLink account. In addition, all images are available for reuse and editing under the free ThingLink Teacher account.  They can be used individually for specific lessons, or combined into a virtual tour.

CULTURAL SITES

Ancient building complex in the Wudang Mountains, China

Nubian Pyramids, Meroë, Sudan

Abu Simbel, the small temple of Nefertari

Central Library (UNAM), Mexico

Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley, Armenia

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Luxor Temple, Egypt

Ad Deir Monastery, Petra, Jordania

Forum of Cesar, Rome, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Old Havana, Cuba

Acik Saray, Gulsehir, Turkey

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Lake Geneva, France

Monasterio del Escorial, Madrid, Spain

Vatican City

Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal

Historic Town of Gran-Bassam, Cote D’Ivoire, Africa

Fujian Tulou buildings, China

Pre-Saharan habitat Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

The Meidan Emam, Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, Esfahan, Iran

Meteora Varlaam Monastery Steps, Greece

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahanm, Iran

 

NATURAL SITES

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

Yosemite National Park, USA

Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Turkey

Nærøyfjord, Norway

Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar

Black Lake in Durmitor National Park, Republic of Montenegro

Sagarmathan National Park, Nepal

Stirling Waterfalls at Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand

Laguna Llanganuco, Huascarán National Park, Peru

Lagoons of New Caledonia, France

Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

Canaima National Park, Venezuela, Sororo Pan Mountain

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Central Amazon Conservation Complex, Brazil

Okawango Delta Botswana

 

HOW TO ADD THESE IMAGES TO YOUR OWN THINGLINK ACCOUNT

If you are new to ThingLink, here is how to get access to the images listed above:

  1. Register for a free ThingLink Teacher account at thinglink.com
  2. Go to the Explore tab.
  3. Choose any image in the featured images and click “add to my account”. Now this image is copied to your account.
  4. Create a lesson or a virtual audio tour by editing the image and adding text, photos, videos, or audio recording.
  5. Use the Tour Creator tag for creating transitions from one image to another
  6. Share your image to ThingLink Education group on Facebook or on Twitter and tag it with @unesco #worldheritage!

You are also warmly welcome to use these images in an existing educational program, course, workshop, or event. To discuss other partnership opportunities, please contact us at education@thinglink.com!

More information: A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. ThingLink won the 2018 UNESCO ICT in Education Prize.

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Immersive Publishing for Cultural Preservation: Visiting the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro in Memories

Some weeks ago we got a note from Leonardo Coelho, a journalist and a student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. After the devastating fire that destroyed the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Leonardo had started working on a project that developed new ways for people to remember and share memories of the museum they loved. To us, Leonardo’s initiative struck as a truly wonderful example of how 360 media and immersive publishing can support cultural preservation, and we wanted to take a moment to share his story with you.

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May 17th celebration: A Virtual Field Trip to Norway

To celebrate the Norwegian Constitution Day, we decided to send a special greeting to our dear Scandinavian neighbors who are almost as happy as the Finns.  With love, we put together this virtual 360 degree tour to the stunningly beautiful land of fjords and fells. The tour starts from Laedal, goes through the longest road tunnel to Bergen, then takes a ferry to North, and ends up at a Constitution Day celebration party after a quick visit to Oslo.

Now, the only thing missing from this tour are the people! Do you have a story or memory from Norway? Here is what you can do:

a) Open the voice recorder on your phone and record an audio clip telling a special memory or story from Norway 

b) Open the ThingLink editor, clone any image from this tour to your own account, and make your own version of the trip! Add audio clips, notes, music, photos, videos, or anything you like –and share it onwards!

If you don’t have a ThingLink account yet, check out our new Premium Teacher plan!

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Monthly Inspiration for January

We invite you to explore our monthly inspiration featuring ideas and pedagogy to help educators leverage the power of ThingLink for teaching and learning in January! Happy Tagging!

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