Wonder Rooms 2.0 by Astrid Hulsebosch - Ourboox.com
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Mar 2018
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Wonder Rooms 2.0

by Astrid Hulsebosch

Wonder Rooms 2.0 by Astrid Hulsebosch - Ourboox.com

Last February, I had the opportunity to organize a new kind of  teacher workshop with the help of Licia Landi, during the Festival della Didattica Digitale in Lucca, Tuscany.This festival takes place once a year and is organized by an excellent foundation dedicated to foster innovative practices in school called UIBI, and INDIRE, the national research and innovation institute for Italian schools. Guest speakers from all over the world come to share their vision and experience. It was an honor to be invited at the Festival and last but not least for the challenge to share finally my experience as a Thinglink Educator with Ulla Engstorm, one of the special guest speakers during the festival.

The goal of the workshop was to create an immersive experience for teachers and teacher-trainers  “Learning by Doing field trip for teachers” in very special location: the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini.


Wonder Rooms 2.0 by Astrid Hulsebosch - Ourboox.com

How did this format of the workshop like?


For introducing the idea of the workshop beforehand, I used a digital poster created with an appsmash using DesignCap and Thinglink.

What can you find inside the poster:

– the idea and significance of Virtual Reality to learning with an important Ted Show of Chris Milk

– practical information about where we would meet

– a simple task to get to know ThingLink: we asked our teachers to create an interactive digiselfie.

I used a Google Form to collect the selfies before the workshop.

See the poster with the details here: Flip the Workshop   




True immersion

A visit to the Puccini house

The workshop started in in the middle of the old city center at Corte San Lorenzo, which is just next to the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini. Here we took a real selfie with Puccini and all the participants of our workshop. As their first task, our participants learned how to make a 360 photo using apps like Google Streetview and 360° Panorama. In our compagny during the workshop we had ThingLink’s founder and CEO Ulla, who we were all glad to meet in person!  
Before entering in the museum,  at the door of Puccini’s house an actrice Elisabetta Salvatori brought Puccini in life with a live performance. After this we climbed up the stairs to the museum space.



Inside the museum we had a tour with a guide, and the participants were invited to take photos, videos and record audio of the moments and details that were most special to them. Every student could take one detail of the visit and develop this part and the end all the different parts can brought together inside the virtual trip.

Once the participants have visited the different room of Puccini’s birthplace, we created two groups of  8-10 participants each for thirty minutes to show and  try out some content creation related to Puccini’s life. During the workshop the participants were invited to become actors in simple roleplays. They could become Puccini himself, a guide and explain some details or one of the famous characters  of the different opera’s you could meet in the house like : Manon Lescaut, the Girl of the West, Mimi, Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Turandot.

The Girl of the West

Every participant got a big bookmarker with QR codes of different resources:

Padlet: to show how you can share and collect easily research results in this case about  about Puccini’s life and his opera’s.

Flickr: An Creative Commons licensed album with photos of the Puccini House and several VR photos made with the Rich Theta camera. This Flickr example was also meant as an idea to collect and share field trip resources.  

Thinglink Channel:  The channel was meant to share  Thinglinks for cloning and for showing how you can develop the trip resources in very different ways.

Dropbox: for sharing audio, specially because you can upload audio directly in the Teleport.

Italian Thinglink Teleport Tutorial


Creato con Padlet


After an intense 1.5 h field trip experience, we had a walk to a conference room in a other historical  place the ‘Casa del Boia’ to learn and compose a virtual reality tour using Thinglink. Most of the participants worked with their tablets. Sharing using bluetooth some photos and specially VR photos created during the trip with the Ricoh Theta resulted an excellent starter

On the Interactive whiteboard we  started showing the very basics while the participants could directly trying out the ‘how to do’ Upload a photo, insert a text – Upload a video – Embedded a resource – Create a Tour. To create a tour they could clone an alreading existing Puccini Thinglink which they could find in two ways with the QR code or using the Thinglink browser.  VR In less than an hour our teachers learned how to compose a virtual tour of their own. It was an amazing experience to see how quick people learn when they are emotionally involved working on and utilizing their own materials, photos and sounds from the tour.

Wonder Rooms 2.0 by Astrid Hulsebosch - Ourboox.com

Feedback and tips: what worked and what we could do better next time?

As first I wrote a storyboard which was very useful to understand all the organization aspects. I visited the Puccini Museum before and spoke out many details with the guide so he could understand our needs. If you don’t live in the place where the workshop will be done we suggest to visit the place before and check out before the workshop all kind of tecnical aspects like internet connecting, opening hours, traject etc.

The Flip the workshop moment was  very useful even if in our case not all the participants where reached, because some of them didn’t used their usual email to subscribe to the course.

 During the workshop the participants learned while  they felt involved in an enthusiastic and playful experience. They didn’t need to think too much and could  concentrate on the immersive experience in a very natural way.

Often we risk to spend a lot of time during a workshop in searching resources and creating plans. Here for I prepared the big bookmaker which resulted very useful. Our participants with had different digital competences and that was why being in two coordinators was essential.

Trying out to use only mobile devices was a challenge for the participants because often we not really use all the potential characteristics of mobile devices. Embedding resources like You-Tube when your work with a tablet is not always very easy so for the moment we don’t suggest do this. You can do it afterwards at home using a PC. You could leave some embedded codes inside a Google Document just to try it out.

For uploading audio files we tested different clouds and for us Dropbox came out as the best. In this moment he Thinglink Team is studying about how to insert video and audio in these cases and  in the nearly future there will be some very nice surprises which will make it very easy to realize a virtual tour with different multimedial resources completely with tablets.


We prepared an important briefing activity but four hours including the field trip and the transfer from one place to another was a bit to less. I would rather see that we could have worked it out with a bit lesser hurry and having six hours to run the workshop. So we could have a break between the first and second part and dedicated more time to the briefing part. In this case it wasn’t possible to organize differently because after this workshop people had other workshops to follow. Because our participants came over form all Italy and had the challenge to participate to several workshop they accepted to run but if you have the opportunity take a day out for this kind of experience. As teacher trainers we had the opportunity to immerse creatively in  Puccini’s world and look at the Opera in a totally new way teaching how to use digital tools link Thinglink VR.


Final product by Maria Dente


Final product by Davide Del Carlo



What do you think about this format? Maybe you already tried out something similar? Feel free to comment so we can learn from each other and exchanging experiences





Wonder Rooms 2.0 by Astrid Hulsebosch - Ourboox.com

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