Traveling Virtually in The Classroom



I really wanted to kick it off with a topic I have been having alot of fun with and presented over at SWCOLT (Southwestern Conference on Language Teaching) in April!


Chances are, if you are here, you teach world languages. Which means you probably love all things culture and travel. There are lots of ways to bring this into the classroom that are really exciting and engaging for our students. Here is a link to my presentation. I’ll write out here some info about it as well:)

Why is this important?

  • I find that students tend to have alot of misconceptions about what other countries look like and even where they are located (had some students genuinely surprised the other day that there is a country name Uruguay… they thought I was making it up hahaha). Therefore, we REALLY need to be showing them all these different locations and cultures and beat those misconceptions!
  • It’s engaging! Frankly, the students love it. Anytime I have used ANY of these tools. The students are so engaged and on task with what we are doing.
  • You can do a lot of cross curricular work here. Geography! Math! Language! and more!
  • Students can practice literacy 2.0 and multimodal literacies! This is just necessary.

Google Earth

sky earth galaxy universe
Photo by Pixabay on

This is a great one! You can just go to the link and then type in any location in the whole entire world and it will take you right there! I often will go visit the location, walk around, and treat it like a picture talk. 


  • no prep – just type in a place and go! I use this sometimes when I have some extra time
  • can measure distance between two places, so you can add in more geography and even math
  • save places to revisit
  • as with anything with google, you can “share”

Tour Builder

Screen Shot 2019-05-05 at 12.01.28 AM

This one is by far my favorite and I will one day write a post just about this! For now, here is a link to one a created. And really, in this one, I didn’t even use it to it’s full capabilities. I could have really fleshed it out more.

With tour builder, you use google earth to create your own tour of a location! You the teacher create it, and then the students and go in and visit all the different locations you set out for them! It is so much and just really cool!


  • add your own text
  • add your own videos
  • add your own photos
  • can be very multimodal
  • can be great to use with a reader! The students can visit all the locations mentioned throughout the novel!

Virtual Reality

man in grey dress shirt using brown cardboard vr glasses
Photo by mentatdgt on

I think alot of people think this is really intimidating, but it’s not! First, you WILL need goggles! I have these from amazon. Then, you can google and look on youtube for free VR videos. You might have to do a little bit of searching for a quality you like… but there is almost always something out there. Additionally, many tourist destinations such as museums and parks have VR options on their websites.


  • feel more immersed in the setting
  • students feel more in control
  • it’s just fun
  • I used it more as a stations activity


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