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Virtual Teaching Resources: 10 Creative Ideas from Italy

Louise Jones

In most countries educators have been asked to move their classroom to the cloud overnight. Most teachers are now staying at home with their own children. Most importantly, they often have limited time, skills and experience with digital tools, shared platforms and virtual teaching resources. 

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Creating virtual teaching resources, lessons and assignments for students shouldn’t be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive. This post features 10 examples from ThingLink’s active, resourceful and creative Italian educator community. They’re not only creating inspiring examples for online teaching, but are also creating new forms of online education for schools. Among these pioneers are: Astrid Hulsebosh,  David Del Carlo, Annamaria Bove, Ornella Cappucchini, Irene Londino, Romea Canini, Ileana Orsini, and many others who you can connect with in the ThingLink Italia group on Facebook.

1.  Explain visuals with text labels

I see a picture of a pyramid, but what should I pay attention to? Simple tags help students pay attention to relevant details in images and graphs. For example, teacher Irene Londino uses text labels to explain the structure of Egyptian pyramids. In addition, she uses video tags to give more context to the topic.


2. Explain abstract concepts with details

2. Millions of students have heard about the Global Goals, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly. But how many can explain the goals in more detail or take action to reach them? Professor Annamaria Bove created a valuable resource for her students. She turned the famous UN infographic into an interactive one. She explained each goal in detail and linking to more information.

3. Perhaps you would like to explain projects to students verbally, but prefer not to make a video of yourself. Astrid Hulsebosch, teacher at the Ministry of Education, University and Research has a solution for you. Simply snap a photo of yourself, and use the ThingLink voice recorder to add your instruction to students. In this example. Astrid instructs her students on how to use additional tools for their assignment! Click the microphone to listen!

4. Art history: Introduce a masterpiece

An interactive user-generated learning resource can be useful for thousands of teachers. For example, teacher Irene Londino created an introduction to Chagall’s White Crucifixion. It presents both information of Marc Chagall as well as explaining details of the painting.


5. Literature: Interpret a masterpiece

In some cases, a teachers devotion to a subject brings out new forms of art. For instance, David Del Carlo is a teacher trainer at the The Ministry of Education, University and Research. To celebrate the national Dante Alighieri Day, David and his students created a digital experience of Dante’s journey through Hell. Especially now, listening this in Italian moves you to tears.

6. Use virtual teaching resources to read to your students

Many teachers like to read to their students. However, it can be challenging to keep this up on a video call over unreliable wifi. But, there is a solution! You can easily record yourself reading on an image and send it to students as a link. For example, high school literature teacher Ileana Orsini created an interactive audio poster lesson. It introduces her students the life and thinking of the Buddha.

7. Learn vocabulary in new places

There are many ways to take language learning out of the classroom to real-world contexts. Ornella Cappucchini is a German teacher and instructional technology coach. She took her students to a virtual house tour. For example, she moves from one room to another highlighting vocabulary in German.

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8. Narrate your own lessons

Perhaps you cannot reach all your students at the same time online. However, you can simulate an in-person lesson by narrating a digital learning experience. In short, you can additional information and questions along the way using numbered hotspots. Professor Barbara Antoniel did this. She says “This is a literature lesson on Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. My objective was to use the flipped classroom method. This way I immerse the student in a process of knowledge discovery through narrative, sound, sensory and visual stimulation.” This year, her institute won the innovative digital school prize in their province.

9. Create a virtual field trip with assignment  

The next two examples would probably qualify as a new lesson format.  Both use 360 degree images to create a multi-sensory learner journey though a physical place. Most importantly, the images are enriched with various resources and tasks for students. In the first example, Maria Dente used Google Street View* photos with illustrations, audio notes, text and photos. In addition, she embedded word completion games to introduce catacombs to 5th graders. The second example is a virtual field trip to a famous hillside estate, Fondazione il Vittoriale created by professor Annamaria Bove.


NEW! The easy way to create 360 images: Pano to 360

Creating virtual tours, exhibitions, escape rooms and other immersive content just got even easier! Google Street View was deprecated in June 2023 but ThingLink has now launched Pano to 360 by ThingLink: an easy way to create a 360 photosphere from a panoramic image using any smartphone. For more information, including step-by-step instructions see this helpful support article. 

10. Ask students to narrate a virtual audio tour

Teachers and students can collaborate remotely in many ways using ThingLink’s shared folders. For example, a teacher can add base images to a shared folder, where students can edit them together. In this example, 5th grade students of Romea Canini took turns and used their actual voices to tell the legend of the Republic of San Marino. 

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Here are some ThingLink tutorials from the Italian educator community.

For example, this is “ThingLink” by Valeria Pancucci.

This is “Ti presento ThingLink” by Astrid Hulsebosch.

Read more: Learn how to use ThingLink to create virtual tours. 

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