Amy Russo’s activity


Virtual Campus Unit Activity

School Situation:

Your school or program has invested in a class set of Google cardboard viewers as one of their program goals it to familiarize students with 21st century tech. Their ultimate goal is to create a virtual (VR) tour of their program to show potential study abroad students in the future. Towards that aim, you have been asked to use Google cardboard in your classroom as a pilot project to both train students how to use it and find potential benefits and pitfalls for language learning.


Here is one example pilot project a teacher might use to utilize the VR capabilities of using Google cardboard viewers. The timing is not delineated here as the task must be adapted to each teaching context, but it is expected to take place over multiple classes with outside homework. User training is required to teach students to use the app before students are asked to do the task. Some extension and alternative contexts are suggested at the end of the task.


Performative Task

Level: Upper-intermediate

Goal: Your goal is to create a virtual tour of your campus life of places that are important or special to you. You will capture both sounds and images, plus your own reflections.

Role: You are a study abroad student at X school/university in America.

Audience: Classmates in your home country

Situation: Your classmates cannot come visit you at X school/university, but still want to share in your experience. You have decided that if you cannot bring them to America, you will bring America to them through the use of VR. Your English teacher in your home country has agreed to help with this project and has gotten a set of cardboard viewers.


1)    Create a virtual tour of 4 stops of important/special places from your life as a study abroad student.

2)    Choose 4 spots highlighting different parts of your life (e.g. academically, socially, field trips, experiences, new interests, etc.)

3)    Reflect on why this place is important or special to you and determine 3 reasons.

4)    Take a VR photo using the Google Camera Cardboard APP for each stop.

a)    Take a VR photo.  Record your voice introducing the place and giving your reasons. Your introduction should answer these questions:

(1)  What is this place?

(2)  When did you come here or how often do you come here?

(3)  What are three reasons it important or special to you ?

5)    Share these reflections with your friends by generating a link in the app and sending through an e-mail.

6)    Have a conversation in English with your classmates in your country to share comments and ask you follow-up questions.

7)    Take screenshots of the conversation (e.g. via e-mail or whatsapp) or make a recording  (e.g. voice memo or whatsapp) to turn in along with a link to photos.


1)    Share with current students in your class by adding your photo to a map tagging site X (e.g. or )

2)    In pairs, review the virtual tour you both made and have a conversation about the similarities and differences in the places you choose and exchange what your thoughts about what was interesting or surprising.

Alternative Contexts

1)    Students do a kind of penpal exchange with another class learning English around the world.

2)    If students from the same class go on different field trips or events then they can created a walk-through or summary activity to share with the other groups in class.

Low Tech MALL

1)    Students could do a similar project using the video function of phone, which they likely can use already and does not need any special device such as the viewer.


Required Materials


You can buy google cardboard viewers here. There are several different models.

App and Account:

You will need a gmail account and the Google Cardboard APP. ( APP here @ Apple Store and Android Store)  You do need to have a gmail account to generate photo links, but you can view shared photos without logging in. If you open a link of a shared VR photo that was made via this app then your device will prompt you to either open it with the app or install the app is you don’t have it yet. *Keep in mind google products do not work in China, but if a student used it in US and went back then the app on their phone should still work


How to use and Sample:

How to use the Google cardboard app video guide: Note as of 4/29/2017 you can share photos via a link through e-mail, SMS, facebook and more. To take a photo, you click the camera icon and spin slowly in a 360 circle. The photo ends after completing the circle. Note that if you are recording your voice make sure to pause before finishing the circle until you are done with your narration. This pause will not affect your photo, but will allow you to record your full narration.