Tours are a great way of enhancing an educational experience for pupils, but it is not always realistic or viable to bring pupils out of the classroom setting and visit a venue in person. This is where the value of technology comes into its own, allowing pupils to experience a venue from the comfort of their classroom or home.

Virtual tours give an added extra to a theme or curricular area, providing pupils with an immersive and interactive learning experience which can lead to a deeper understanding of a topic. These are suggestions for five different interactive tours for pupils in older classes to experience. They can be integrated with curricular work in SESE or literacy.

Áras an Uachtaráin

If you are doing some work on Ireland’s democracy, you might consider doing a virtual tour of Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of Ireland’s president. Pupils can visit various rooms within the building including the State Drawing Room, the State Reception Room, the State Dining Room, the walled Gardens etc. and get a 360 degree view of each room. They can also click the “i” button in each room to read information about the room.

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Ann Frank House

If you are doing a unit of work on World War II or are doing a book or picture book on the life of Anne Frank, this virtual tour could enhance the experience of pupils on the topic. Pupils can step inside the secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid for two years during the war. Pupils can visit different rooms where Anne and her family lived including the bathroom, the bookcase, the attic, the bedrooms, getting a 360 degree view of each room, where they can also read further details about each room.

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1916 Rising

This digital archive has been collected and collated by Google Arts and Culture. If you are doing a unit of work on the Easter 1916 Rising, this could be a one-stop-shop for either the teacher or the pupils. It contains links to online exhibits, featuring documents, reports, videos and photographs from the time. There are also links to virtual tours of the National Library, the Royal Irish Academy and Glasnevin Cemetery.

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Auschwitz Prison

If you are doing a unit of work on World War II, you may consider allowing pupils to do a virtual tour of Auschwitz/Birkenau prison. Pupils will be able to see the infamous entrance to the compound, the different prison blocks around the compound, inside the prison buildings, Roll Call Square.

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Pearse Museum

I have included this tour with 6th class pupils in the past as we were doing the novel “The Young Rebels” by Morgan Llywelyn. Much of the novel is set in the grounds of St. Enda’s school, the school in which Pádraig Pearse taught prior to the 1916 Rising. After completing the virtual tour, pupils reported that they could visualise the story more while reading the novel as they could imagine the characters in the various settings around the school.

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