Integrating 360 Content with Instruction - Hands-On Exploration & Early Insights

Concurrent Session 6

Brief Abstract

Integrating 360 images and video into curriculum presents new possibilities and challenges. This hands session will introduce participants to the basics of working with 360 content, and they’ll come away understanding some of the important terminology and concepts, how to avoid potential pitfalls, and some early insights from adapters at SJSU.


Sponsored By


Bethany is an instructional designer with eCampus at San Jose State University where she supports faculty in the effective use of current and emerging technologies. She previously worked for a company that helped many small private institutions to launch their online programs, and worked closely with both administrators and faculty developing courses for hybrid or 100% online. She has helped to implement content, to troubleshoot and maintain the LMS, to facilitate related technology training, to conduct course quality reviews, and she has also redesigned several existing 'orphan' courses. Bethany's areas of interest include instructional design & training, digital citizenship & literacy, the open source movement & crowd sourced knowledge (wiki), the Creative Commons, and any other forms of radical collaboration that are disrupting traditional education and access to information. She is also a volunteer with the Community Virtual Library and the project lead for CVL’s Hypergrid Resource Libraries project. She regularly attends virtual world conferences and events, as well as physical world conferences to spread the word about the exciting things educators are doing in-world. Her personal mission is to learn more about virtual reality and immersive learning by doing, and to motivate others to do the same! Bethany studied sociology at the University of California Santa Cruz and graduated with honors. She earned a master's degree in education, specific to online teaching and learning, from the California State University East-Bay.

Extended Abstract

My planned Discovery session is aligned with the Innovations, Tools, and Technologies track. Integrating 360 photos and/or videos offers both instructors and students a highly creative way to create engaging content for teaching and learning. The topic is very timely and appropriate for the conference, and designed to be interactive.

While I do not have research data to share, I will be sharing insights some of our early adopters at SJSU have shared with me as I've assisted them. The best part of the session is in offering participants a chance to experience viewing 360 photos and video on one of my devices or their own.  Beyond viewing photos, however, participants can go through the process of taking a photo, transfering and stitching into my device, and see the process I actually use when working with 360s.

The focus of the demo, will be to get partipants to experience for themselves the challenges in creating and sharing this kind of content. Participants will be inspired by the possiblities, but will also come away having first hand experience on why planning ahead and giving enough time to the instructional design aspect is so critical for success. For that reason, I will be soliciting feedback about how hard or easy it is, and how much time it takes to:

  • Read/follow written and video instructions on Canvas

  • Handle the equiptment (Camera, app, etc.) to transfer and stitch a photo or video

  • Access a video via Google cardboard and watch it in 360.

The Session Outcomes:

  1. Familiarize participants with the scope of options for creating and sharing 360 video and/or photos, and share some of the ways 360 photos/videos are being integrated with curriculum at SJSU.

  2. Experience a demo with a Samsung Gear360, a Samsung phone and headset and/or Google Cardboard. Depending upon a participant’s interest, they can do one or more of the following:

    • Compare viewing 360 photo or video via a phone, (with and without a headset), and via a computer or tablet. Also notice the difference between stitched and unstiched images.

    • Walk through the process of creating a 360 photo and stitching it in the phone.

    • Use their own device to go through the process of installing Google cardboard app.

  3. Come away with a handout of best practices and resources that will help them get started if they want to integrate 360 photo and video with their teaching.

Presentation Outline

  1. Overview of the Challenge & Options

This would be about 5 minutes of show/tell of the equiptment, supplemented with a PowerPoint on my laptop and the real devices in hand. Also available will be the Canvas course instructions, and synthesis of what my instructors have reported to me this last semester integrating this technology with their teaching.

  • THE HARDWARE ON HAND: a laptop that displays a PowerPoint, a public Canvas course with bitley link that shows instructional content, my phone, my two tablets, and multiple headsets (2 Samsung Gear360 headsets and several Google Cardboards).

  • WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:Concepts; stereoscopic, equirectangular,VR (headset to view 360 content)  etc.


    • Canvas app and using VR devices (Google Cardboard)

    • Formating issues must be understood


    • Creating/sharing 360 videos is not as easy and intuitive as some might expect. It’s not natural to students.

    • Account for Different devices - I’ve been working with Android phone and Samsung 360, and Momento360. Other people are using other devices and platforms.

    • Youtube mades it easy for video, but photos need hosting elsewhere.

2. Demo

10 minutes of people using my devices or their own to view content, try creating or stitching in phone, and seeing how long an upload takes from my laptop to YouTube.


  • Show how to add, embed, or link out

  • Options for finding 360 content

  • Other options for creating 360 content


3.  Takeaway Handout - (Google doc with links and bitley):

  • Allow enough time to get familair with your gear - I’ve seen faculty overestimate what can be accomplished and suprised at the technical challenges and assumption it will be easy for students.

  • Explore the platforms for sharing - there’s lots of options and it’s changing all the time. Here’s a few I’ve been exploring:

    • Momento360 - hosts photos and video, but I’ve found the videos stutter so I use YouTube for video.

    • YouTube - this is the best place for video.

    • Co-Spaces- a platform with free and paid options.

    • Cybalounge - free browser based virtual space where your students don’t even need an account to login. 

  • Create some demo content that you can use for early lessons and training your students.

  • Have students work in groups - not everyone’s phone will be compatible, and there will always be connection and bandwidth issues too.

  • Start small - scale back your idea to the simplest version possible and fine tune your lessons each semester.

  • Have at least one lesson (preferably more), just be about getting familiar with the concept and the gear. This can’t be an add-on, where students are just expected to skim through on their own time, it need to be planned for. For example:

    • Lesson 1 - introducing what 360 photos/videos are and why we’ll use this technology. Cover concepts such as “stitching” and equirectangular which effects how finished images look. Also cover how the content will be shared; via Canvas, via another platform, in a virtual tour kind of way?

    • Lesson 2 - Viewing 360 photos and videos and the different options. Plan for problems and have back up options. Ie students who have a phone that can’t make 360s can still make panoramic shots to share.

    • Lesson 3- a lesson on how to create content to share, if you’ll have your students create content.

  • Make a video showing how to do the basics yourself. It could even be a 360 video! Show how to turn camera on/off, now to connect to your phone, how to connect to your computer and use connected computer to upload a video to YouTube etc. Show how long things take.

  • Plan to use a wired in desktop, in addition to a phone, and document the process. You’ll need to write these kinds of instructions up for your students!

  • Write good content for the LMS. Source good links to video, photos, etc.