This section showcases samples of activities that can be effective in your class. 
These activities include:
| Dictations | Speak the words | Quizzes | Hot spots | Interactive videos | 360 tours |

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Sample of Activities for SPAN3, Spanish for Professionals

Section 1 – Dictation
Combination of Vowels

This activity of listening comprehension is to practice the combinations of vowel sounds /a/,/e/,/i/,/o/, and /u/.

The slashes represent the sound of the letter or word. Spanish language has five vowel sounds and all possible combinations of them, so 25 possibilities: /aa/, /ae/, /ai/, /ao, /au/, /ea/, /ee/, etc.

Below you can see one example of each combination.

Section 2 – Speak the Word set
Pronunciation of Spanish words that have the same spelling in English

This activity is to perfect your pronunciation.
Spanish has a very simple set of pronunciation rules. Basically, every letter corresponds to an individual sound with the exception of the five digraphs CH, QU, RR, GU, LL (which are pairs of letters with a single sound), and the H (which is always silent).
An interesting set of words are those that have the same spelling in both Spanish and English, but different pronunciation. For example, the word “iris” is pronounced /iris/ in Spanish and /airis/ in English.

In some cases, the spelling coincides but the accent doesn’t. In the examples below, the accent is underlined for clarity.
Examples of words

Asia /asia/ chocolate /CHokolate/
halo /alo/ primate /primate/
álgebra /alHebra/ ángel /anHel/
neón /neon/ bacteria /bakteria/
pus /pus/ flexible /flexible/
probable /probable/ horrible /oRible/
considerable /konsiderable/ doctor /doktor/
motor /motor/ tutor /tutor/
dental /dental/ mental /mental/
funeral /funeral/ final /final/
superior /superior/ interior /interior/

In this exercise, you are presented with 10 words in pairs that you have to pronounce in Spanish.

Section 3 – True or false.
General Concepts of Spanish language and its pronunciation

In this exercise you will be asked true-false question about the pronunciation in Spanish and general concepts about the language.

Section 4 -Multiple Choice
Masculine-feminine, singular-plural

Section 5 -Fill in the blanks
Cantar-cantando-cantado (sing, singing, sung)

Section 6 – Drag the words into their correct boxes
Irregular past participles in Spanish like “escrito,” (written)

In Spanish there are only 13 verbs that have irregular past participle. These are:

The main use of the past participle is to create the past tense “I have done” In Spanish you need to know the verb “haber” (to have): yo he, tú has, él ha, nosotros hemos, vosotros habeis, ellos han.

Section 7 – Hot spots
Vocabulary: organs and structures in the body

Section 8 -Interactive Video
Conjugated verbs

This 2-minute video displays some sentences, just before they are used -pronounced, and asks questions about their grammar.
This video pauses every time there something important.

Section 9 – Interactive video 2/b>
Vocabulary: fluids of the body

Section 10 -360 Tour
Vocabulary: objects in the doctor’s office

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This section showcases different types of visuals that can be captured with a camera to be used in the classroom.
These visuals include:
| Rotational videos | Skyline 360 images and videos | Spherical 360 images | Fisheye photographs and videos | Aerial photographs and videos | Effects | 3D, VR, and AR |

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Photographic Visuals for Service Learning

The following is a brief classification and description of effective photographic resources to attract the attention of young students with visuals.

1. 360-Spin Videos

The 360-spin videos are used to show the shape of objects. The object shown is simply placed on an electric turntable with a neutral background. Common turntables can be up to around 13 inches of diameter. Turntables (Motorized photography rotating display stands) allow different angles of rotation (for example, 0 to 180 degrees) and different angular speeds. The duration of a 4-inch object as the ones in the videos of this article can be of some 10 seconds. They can be remote controlled and are inexpensive.
(Media: Desert rose; Crystal quartz geode).

2. Skyline 360 Images and Videos

Panoramic images are a collage of photos that covers 360 degrees around the viewer. Unlike spherical 360 images, skyline 360 images are flat and don’t show details of the ground or the sky (or the floor and the ceiling).
Skyline videos can be obtained either as an animation out of a panoramic image or, directly, by placing the camera itself on an electric turntable mounted on the tripod. Panoramic videos are the opposite of 360-spin videos: you place a camera on the turntable.
(Media: Downtown San José Skyline, courtesy of XAtsukex).

Panoramic view of San Jose

3. Spherical 360 Images

These images cover the 360 solid angle, so all views (including the ground and the sky)are shown as a sphere around the viewer.
These images are a collage of photographs and consequently may derive in large files.
Google provides an app, called Street View, to take spherical images with your own cell phone.
(Media: San José State University Tower, San José)

4. Fisheye Photographs and Videos

Art and Design bulding main door Art and Design bulding main door with fisheye lens

This technique uses a special lens, called fisheye, which deforms the view around a focus to capture a wider angle to photograph large object (like a building) when the camera can’t be placed far enough from the object. Notice, in the photo on the right, the building would not be seen with a regular lens.
Fisheye skyline 360 videos are created by placing the fisheye camera on a turntable.
(Media: San José State University Art & Design building with regular and fisheye lenses; Panoramic video with fisheye lens of the SJSU Tower, San José, California)

5. Aerial Photographs and Videos

family seen by above with a drone

Cameras mounted on drones or planes take magnificent photographs and videos.
Regarding drones, these days they have become an affordable tool, with prices as low as $100 for a basic drone of 1080p, also known as Full HD or FHD (full high definition), a ubiquitous display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Resolution represents the number of pixels a display has in width by height format, and the more pixels, the sharper the image looks.
The main problem with the drone may be flying it. Achieving a stable position for a photo or video may take many shots, especially if it’s windy!
The Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, requires that the pilots have a license if flying a drone for commercial, government or other non-recreational purposes; or have a registration if flying for recreational purposes. In Addition drones are prohibited in places like airports, government buildings, and state and national parks; and they may require a permit in the area you want to photograph.
Regarding high altitude photographs or videos, you can find your desired element in stock photo agencies or for free at Wikimedia Commons -giving appropriate credit to the author.
(Media: People photographed from a drone , courtesy of Brad Thomas Hanks; Aerial video of Mineta International Airport area, in San José, courtesy of Fastily)

6. Effects

These days there are many photo and video effects to meet your visual objectives. Some effects are achieved when shooting by changing some mode in your camera or by adding an accessory, like a flash, a zoom, or a special lens. In other cases, the effect we look for is achieved in post-production, altering the properties of the photograph or video with a certain app (like Adobe Photoshop or Camtasia).
Slow motion is a great effect that renders exceptional videos to show what it happens too fast for the naked eye. Common cameras include the “slo-mo mode.”
Juxtaposition, also called before-after effect is another great effect. This allows seeing at the same time two states of the same picture. it can be a house before and after a retrofit or a picture before and after being altered. For this effect, the image can be retouched via coding or directly using an app, like H5P.
Accessories for cell phones are very inexpensive and they enable interesting effects and filming possibilities for pedagogical purposes. The following is a short list of commercial accessories in the current market and a low price.

– 180-degree fisheye lens for cell phone, $12
– Waterproof cell phone pouch, $11
– Monocular telescope for cell phone, $31
– Selfie stick, $19
– Endoscope for cell phone, $15

(Media: Acetylene explosion in slow motion; Juxtaposition of a photograph of a balcony and its pencil drawing)

7. Tree-Dimensional and Virtual Reality

To complete this brief review of types of visuals, we should mention three-dimensional imagery and virtual and mixed reality. To utilize these technologies, users need a device in addition to the image and their naked eyes.

Cactai in the desert in 3D red and blue 3D glasses

3D Images and Videos. So far, we have described 2D images, so, flat (even the spherical 360 images are but a flat display of a collage of photos). Three-dimensional or stereoscopy refers to the illusion of depth in an image. A three-dimensional image or an anaglyph is a set of two photographs or illustrations, with a difference in color and angle. To see a 3D image, it’s necessary a 3D color glasses -with one different color for each eye (red and blue).
A 3D video is just a sequence of 3D images and, consequently, it requires the same glasses.
(Media: 3D commercial glasses, from Blue Handcart at; 3D image Dust in the desert, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Interior)

Dinosaur under two lenses Google Cardboard

Virtual Reality. VR adds one final attribute: interaction. Unlike in 360 spherical images, in VR, thanks to a gyroscope mounted in the device, the devise senses the direction to where the viewer is aiming at, it processes that information and responds accordingly by showing the image that corresponds to that specific direction. That creates the illusion of immersion.
Perhaps the simplest VR device is the Google Carboard that includes: two lenses to create the stereoscopy (illusion of depth) and utilizes the gyroscope and the processor of the cellphone. A carboard button on top of the visor pushes the center of the cellphone screen to make selections.
(Media: Google cardboard, from; View with naked eye at VR Google cardboard glasses from the demo of the Cardboard App)

View of Virtual reality game Virtual reality googles

Commonly the VR devices, like Oculus Quest 2 or HTC VIVE, include not only a headset (goggles) but also touch controllers (equivalent to a mouse in VR) to have a “manual” interaction with the virtual world. So, a virtual reality experience overlaps four attributes:

a) Video, since what you see are moving images, even if we don’t change the direction of your view.
b) 3D imagery, since you see a video with illusion of depth.
c) Spherical 360 images, since you see different videos as you look at different directions. Sometimes this stage, the spherical 360 images, is commercialized as “virtual reality.” Notice that, above in this article, in the spherical 360 images, the software author wrote “VR” in the bottom right corner.
d) Interaction (or immersion), since it’s viewer-centered and the viewer sees different videos depending on where she looks at.

Virtual reality (viewer centered images -c- with interaction -d-) doesn’t necessarily have to have all four attributes. Thus, virtual reality could still be a scene with no movement (no video), or a scene with no depth illusion (no 3D).
(Media: VR headset and touch controllers from Oculus Quest 2 at; View with a naked eye of the intro of a 3D game of Oculus Quest 2, from Oculus at

Mixed reality is the mix of reality and virtual reality. The device shows real elements and virtual elements. It can be augmented reality, mostly reality with a minor virtual component or augmented virtuality, mostly virtual elements with a minor reality component.
(Media: A view of augmented reality from an Apple tablet, by ake1150sb; Video Vuforia Chalk, Augmented Reality Remote Assistance)

Tablet seen a street with augmented reality

Augmented Reality uses a mobile device (cell phone or tablet) and include virtual element (animations). A practical application of augmented reality is used to mark objects with virtual paint. Thus, for example, with the Vuforia chalk TM, a technician can write (in the air) with a touch controller a point of failure in a network of tubes.

Virtual reality googles

Augmented Virtuality, as the opposite of augmented reality, uses a headset and include real elements in it. In the video on the right, a person wearing a headset sees a virtual background, which constitutes nearly all her view, however, the dish on the table is the actual disk she has in front of hers, allowing her to take the food with her fork with precision and eat.
As mentioned, both 3D and virtual reality, as visuals, require extra tools (not only the image and naked eye), this makes these technologies hard to transport and to individualize in a K-12 class.
San José State University provides seminars on Virtual Reality to its faculty through eCampus and VR equipment can be borrowed as well. Also MLK Jr. Library has resources, like the KLERV lab (King Library Experiential Virtual Reality) for the library card holders.
(Media: VR headset and touch controllers from Oculus Quest 2 at; View with a naked eye of the intro of a 3D game of Oculus Quest 2, from Oculus at; Video Contextualized tasting experience in augmented virtuality)

Francisco de la Calle

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