Thinglink – Bring Interactive Media to your Classroom

Quick and easy-to-use tool in creating interactive media on your visuals. Very useful for students and teachers.

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By Ufuk Yağcı

Overview

Thinglink provides teachers and students with a powerful and flexible tool for creating and sharing interactive images on the web. An interactive image is an image that has tags with additional photos, videos, audio, text or web links attached to it. When the viewers click on the tags, the linked objects start playing which makes the image interactive. Users can upload and add any photo, video and audio, web link, poll, text and even 360´ degree photo at one click on an image enabling a virtual reality environment.

Getting Started

Thinglink is easy and quick. You can annotate pictures adding interactive videos at the touch of a click. Here is an overview  of using Thinglink in your teaching and learning environment.

Teaching Ideas

These are ideas for educators. We can create multimedia content on images but how can we use that in the classroom? How will Thinglink effect the learning that takes place in the classroom?

Idea 1 – Multimedia Content Builder for Science & Math Classes (General)

Thinglink allows teachers and students to create enriching multimedia content on a visual. This is very useful in explaining and providing details in science and math classes. An image of the human body can be annotated and labeled with text, additional visuals, audio, videos and links to any website making it an interactive image. Teachers and students can create their own explanations and share their knowledge on images with this tool. Here is a student sample of a plant cell where the student creates multimedia content demonstrating and sharing his learning.

Idea 2 – Collaborative Formative Tool (General)

Thinglink provides a collaborative environment for students by allowing them to upload and link content on a digital image. This is a great opportunity for a formative assessment or studying for a test. The instructor can post different images on the class website and ask the students to annotate and tag the images with their own explanations. Students can work in teams and assess each other’s work.

Idea 3 – Dig Deep in Vocabulary (General & ESL)

Vocabulary learning is effective when it entails active engagement that goes beyond definitional knowledge. Take an image of the vocabulary and add visuals, audio, text, videos and links that will go beyond a definition and show logical relationships with other words, helping students understand how the word functions in different contexts.

Idea 4 – Language Learning (General)

Put a poem or text in the foreign language. Ask students to record themselves reading each sentence using free recording software such as Audacity. Ask them to create separate recordings for each sentence. Ask the students to upload the audio files to a free service such as Soundcloud using a free account. Have them add tags for each sentence and add their audio files. Instructors can provide feedback in a similar way by first listening to the audio, adding feedback, and tagging each sentence.. Here is a sample project.

Idea 5 – Listen and Learn (General)

Thinglink allows audio to be uploaded on the images. This is very useful for music and language classes. Listen to music of composers and read biographical information. Similarly, listen to poets, authors, instruments, and student’s vocal performances. Here is an example of a Thinglink on composers.

Helpful Resources

Costs and Alternatives

Free Version

You can use Thinglink for free. Make sure that you use an EDU account. Thinglink calculates the number of views for all embedded media and there is a restriction of 10K views per month for the free version. This number is reset on the first of each month

Paid Version

There are two options for the EDU paid version.

Pro Teacher has the image editor and full-screen image editor. You can create, publish and share engaging, interactive images with customization features. You can also upload audio files with this version. There are pre-loaded and custom icons. You can have a maximum of 5 classes and 150 students with this version. The price is $35/year.

Premium Teacher has three editors, image, video, and 360´degree photo editor. There are also preloaded and custom icons as well as ready-made virtual reality lessons. You can have a maximum of 10 classes with 350 students. There is also a 14-day trial period. The price is $120/year.

I have also used Skitch for annotating images but Skitch does not make it interactive as Thinglink does.


Author:

Ufuk Yağcı is an educational technology coordinator at MEF International Schools that is an international K12 school based in Istanbul, Turkey. She works and collaborates with teachers and students to integrate technology in the teaching and learning environment of her school. She is also teaching ICT for upper primary grades.

email: uyagci@gmail.com  Twitter:  @uyagci

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