About the apps
We chose these apps after careful consideration of a number of alternative apps. We chose the apps we considered to be the best options concerning our pedagogical objectives. The apps we chose are rather intuitive and can be mastered by both students and teachers with the help of step by step – tutorials and teacher training. Since our focus is on pedagogical and linguistic objectives, it was also important to stick to the three tools of our choice throughout the project.
Our choice does, however, not mean that there are no alternatives.
Instead of Holobuilder, you can easily use Google Tour Creator to get a similar work product. However, we distanced ourselves from this option due to privacy concerns and the fact that you cannot link pictures inside the project to jump from one scene to the next. Another option is EXP360, a German tool. However, it is less intuitive and so we decided to use Holobuilder instead because it a mere drag-and-drop tool.
In terms of alternative to CoSpaces, there are none so far that would have led to the same outcome.
vTime could easily be replaced by virtual conferencing tools that work with VR headsets. However, those are rather expensive because they are made for business purposes.
Due to privacy concerns, we decided to create project-related accounts for all services we use. This is how personal data of students is not associated with their creations. Moreover, we have written consent from all parents that allow their children to use the tools under these conditions. Particularly concerning vTime, on top of using project-related accounts, our setup for the activity will make it impossible for other users to interrupt our students.
Finally, these tools have a lot of potential for language learning, particularly in oral comprehension and production. Both Holobuilder and CoSpaces easily allow the use of audio recordings and vTime is made by design for oral communication. The VR expert of the project, Stephanie Woessner, has also done a lot of projects with Holobuilder and CoSpaces over the years and has been awared four pedagogical awards for a project with CoSpaces in French as a foreign language.