Want to make creations as awesome as this one?


The Presence Tense

Developing VR Environments

for the Multimodal Classroom

Simon Zuberek

2019 ACTFL
November 22, 2019


  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Headset Viewer

  • Google Account
  • Google Chrome
  • Phone Apps

What you will need



  • Google Cardboard
  • Google Cardboard Camera
  • Google Expeditions


  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Linguistic
  • Spatial
  • Gestural

  • Visual
  • Audio
  • Linguistic
  • Spatial
  • Gestural
  • Schematic

VR and Curricular Design

Available Designs

VR Features

Available Designs

Paesani, Willis-Allen, and Dupuy, 2016

"The linguistic, cultural, and social resources a person uses to understand and create texts, as well as resources that comprise and characterize texts themselves. These are different across different texts and for different students, as they are defined by students’ experience. They may be targeted by instructors in designing learning activities."

What is a text?

Paesani, Willis-Allen, and Dupuy, 2016

"In the multiliteracies framework a text is a written, oral, audio, visual, or digital artifact combining multiple features such as words, sounds, images, hypertext, gestures, memes, etc."

Is city a text?

Google Cardboard

  1. Open the Google Cardboard app.
  2. To pair your phone with your viewer, on the right, tap the Right arrow.
  3. Use your phone's camera to scan the QR code on the Cardboard viewer.

Guided tour with Google Expeditions

  1. Open the Google Expeditions App.
  2. Log in with your private Google Account.
  3. Tap Discover and search for My Harlem.
  4. http://bit.ly/MyHarlem
  5. Download the tour to your smartphone.
  6. Tap View in VR and follow the directions on the screen.

360° images with Google Cardboard Camera

  1. Open the Google Cardboard Camera App.
  2. In the bottom right corner tap Take Picture.
  3. Tap Record.
  4. With your arms outstretched, move your device slowly in a circle to the left or right.
  5. The camera will stop recording automatically once you complete a full 360° turn. To finish before then, tap Done.
  6. Tap the photo you have just taken:

  • iPhone: On the bottom left, tap Share. To confirm and save the picture to your camera roll, tap OK. Open your Photos app and share the picture.
  • Android: To the right of the photo tap More (three vertical dots) > Open in Gallery. Follow instructions from your photos app.
  • Email the images to yourself and save them locally

Creating an immersive 360° scene
with Google Trour Creator

  1. In your Chrome browser navigate to vr.google.com/tourcreator.
  2. Log in if prompted (use your Google account login and password).
  3. Click + New Tour.
  4. Enter the title of your tour.
  5. Enter a description and assign the category.
  6. Add a cover photo (photosforclass.com has some good ones).
  7. Hit Create.
  8. Click Add Scene.
  9. To add an image, choose Upload and select a 360-degree image for your first scene.
  10. Click Add Scene to create the first stop on your tour.
  11. Add the title and the description of your scene.
  12. Publish the tour with the blue Publish button.

Adding Static Images to Your Scene

  1. Go back to your tour.
  2. Click Add Scene to add another scene to your trip.
  3. Upload your own 360° image, give it a title and a short description.
  4. What in this scene could serve as a point of interest? How could it be labeled and described? Would it benefit from an added image?
  5. Click on the Point of Interest on the right under the description. A blue + in a circle will appear. Drag it around to adjust the location.
  6. Add the title and a short description. Keep it to one paragraph.
  7. Below the description you will see two icons. The first one allows for adding static overlay images. Click it to add your photo. Adjust its size and position as you see fit.
  8. Publish when ready.

Adding Sound to Your Scene

  1. Go back to your tour.
  2. Click Add Scene to add third scene to your trip.
  3. Upload your own 360° image, give it a title, and a short description.
  4. Think of a point of interest that may benefit from added sound.
  5. Create the point of interest, add its title and a short description.
  6. Below the description click on the Add Narration Icon.
  7. You will need to upload a sound. Go to soundbible.com or soundgator.com for free sounds.
  8. You may also record your own narration (vocaroo.com).
  9. Upload the sound you have prepared. You can also upload an image if you think it is needed.
  10. Publish your tour and update it on your smartphone.

  • All tours could be viewed on all internet-enabled devices:
  • On smartphones and tablets use the Google Expeditions app.
  • On computers go to poly.google.com/tours and search for the tour in the search bar.

  • Open your Google Expeditions app:
  • Go to Class > Guide > Start Guided Session.
  • You’ll see details of your name, tour number, and the network. Make sure all your students are on the same network.
  • Tap Got it. You will see all tours you have downloaded.
  • Tapt the VR tour you want to guide and select Guide.
  • Tell students to join the tour with your name and the tour number, and to place their mobile devices in their viewer.
  • Tap Start on the first scene to send it to your students.

Guiding the Tour

Sharing the tour


Thank you!