If a picture says a thousand words, then Thinglink is probably getting you closer to ten or twenty thousand. A hugely popular tool, ThingLink allows you to ‘tag’ all sorts of multimedia resources to specific points on a digital image. Think of facebook photo-tagging on steroids! This can be extremely useful for educators when trying to highlight connections, link relationships and provide relevance to learning material for students.
Pricing: Free / $35 per year
Compatibility: Web / iOS / Android
Access: Email / Google / Facebook / Twitter signup
A Quick Look
With the ability to link articles, images, video and text to locations on an image there is a real mix of applications for ThingLink. Both the visual appearance and tactile feel of a ThingLink makes it a much more engaging and informative learning resource than a standard image.
Hover over the example below and see exactly how a ThingLink is displayed.
1. A little bit about yourself
This is one of my favorite ideas from the ThingLink community. Take a photo of yourself and start tacking on little bits of information about your interests. A YouTube trailer of your favorite film. A link to your blog. Photo of your family. Any little tidbit to describe who you are. This can work very well for staff where embedded ThingLinks can be placed on the school directory or even as a fun activity for students to get to know each other at the start of the year. Check out this example of actress Jennifer Lawrence.
2. Collages and tables
When creating a ThingLink it’s important to choose an image that is relevant to the topic, and also one that has plenty of elements to tag resources to. Some specific examples are to use a collage of images, a table of information or perhaps a word cloud. Ask your students to create their own image (collage, table or word cloud) and get them to add relevant links and resources to it using ThingLink.
3. Interactive Comic
This magnificently creative idea comes from class 2A at Davyhulme Primary School where they used ThingLink to create an interactive comic strip. As you hover over each speech bubble, an embedded video appears where students act out the scene. Try using an app like Halftone 2 to create a comic strip with your class, then divide students up to create each video segment.
4. Use your own image
Rather than using pre-made images or stock photography, have your students use their own photos as the base for their ThingLink. This could be integrated into a class field trip, school event or a holiday activity. Here is an excellent example where a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry was extended into a ThingLink activity.
5. ThingLink inception
Have you seen the film Inception? That movie where Leonardo DiCaprio travels into dreams within dreams within dreams? Well, a similar concept can be done with ThingLink. Have your students create a ThingLink that links to another ThingLink that links to another ThingLink and so on. This can create an interconnected web of resources and if organized well, can work as an excellent collaborative exercise for your class.
Links and Next Steps
- ThingLink for Education – Link to ThingLink Education sign up
- The ThingLink Library – Browse premade ThingLinks for inspiration
- 86+ Interesting Ways* to Use ThingLink in the Classroom – Slideshow
- ThingLink Free Webinars – Regularly hosted ThingLink EDU Webinars
- ThingLink App Tutorial – Video (5 min)
- 10 Innovative Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom
- ThingLink Musical Example – Great idea for music class or similar
- ThingLink blog post – Tips and tricks from educator Jannelle Legg
- Using ThingLink Beyond the Classroom Walls
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Biker Jun.