360Cities

image    Where shall we go next? What country can we explore? 360cities allows you to virtually visit many places of interest and view their spectacular panoramic photos. The photos are a full interactive shot of the scenery so you do get to see everything.  You are also able to create your own panoramic shots and upload your pictures.

The 360Cities panoramic pictures provide a vivid visual experience to enhance a languages lesson. Students can search and view the panoramic setting and bring a country to them. Images could be used to visit famous landmarks or interesting sites. As a teacher:

  • you could provide students an image and challenge them to create a virtual tour.
  • By using other apps you could get students to create travel brochures for the panoramic pictures, or
  • Record the tours as a screencast.
  • Use the “how-to” section to have your students create their own panoramic pictures.

At a cost of $1.99, this is an excellent app.

Tourwrist

image Tourwrist is a virtual travel app that lets you visit places all over the world through 360 degree high quality photographs. Using the iPad’s gyroscope feature and augmented reality, you can take a walking tour of various points of interest anywhere in the world. As you turn to your left or right, or look up or down, you will see what the photographer saw and most amazingly you will actually feel like you are right in the picture.

What I really like about this app is that it provides an excellent opportunity to develop student’s intercultural understanding, as well as by using the authentic images it brings the target country and language alive. It would be wonderful if all our students were able to take a field trip to countries of the language they are learning, however, while we do provide this opportunity, unfortunately not every student is able to participate. However, by using Tourwrist it enables students to visit a country virtually and view areas of interest, architecture, historical artefacts, restaurants, etc.

Recently, I used Tourwrist in my classroom to visit an Indonesian market. We were doing a unit on buying, selling and bargaining for fruit and vegetables. Rather than just talk or explain about the intercultural difference of bargaining, and the importance of markets, we also could travel virtually to visit one.

It is hard to believe that this app is free. It is a truly amazing travel app that offers virtual tours of some very beautiful places. With the right tools and a registered account, you can even add your own tour.