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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Virtual Reality Book Tours

In 5 Multimedia Projects for Social Studies Classes I included the idea of having students make their own virtual tours of historic and interesting landmarks. The concepts used to make a virtual tour of historic landmarks can be used to create virtual tours based on the books that students read. This is easier to do with books that use the names of real places (cities, states, countries), but it could be done with books that have fictitious locations.

Make a VR Book Tour With Google's VR Tour Creator
  • To make a VR book tour with Google's VR Tour Creator start by having students select a handful of key points, including their locations, in the books they're going to make tours about. Have students write a few sentences about each location and its significance in the book.
  • If you want your students to include audio in their tours, have them record that audio and save it on the computers they are going to use to make their tours. Vocaroo provides an easy way to record and download spoken audio. Click here to learn how to use Vocaroo.
  • Your students can use the imagery that is built into Google's VR Tour Creator and or use images that they have taken or images that they find online at places like Photos for Class. Images that they find or take themselves can be layered into each stop in their virtual tours.
  • Now your students are ready to start putting together their VR book tours. This video provides an overview of the basic steps needed to make a VR tour. To add audio to the tour, follow the steps outlined in this video. And watch this video to learn how to layer-in pictures that students take or find online.

Make a VR Book Tour With Patches
If you want your students to make VR tours of books that feature imagery places (like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) then you should take a look at using Patches.

Patches is a free online tool for creating virtual reality scenes. Patches offers animated characters, animals, buildings, and common objects that you can place inside a virtual reality scene. Just drag and drop objects and animations from the selection menus to the Patches design canvas. You can create and customize your VR scenes as much as you like by changing object positioning, color schemes, and even the speed at which an animation moves. You can preview your VR scenes within the Patches editor. Completed projects can be viewed in a VR viewer by just enter the link assigned to your project into your mobile phone's browser.