OVERVIEW | THINGLINK

A site (and app) to make your images interactive via multimedia uploads and links. Easily shared across the web.

WHAT IS IT?

You upload a photo, click an area of that picture you want to explain to a viewer, and enter your text or a URL. Done.

I'll clarify ThingLink but figuring out this creature is on you

I’ll clarify ThingLink but figuring out this creature is on you.

A free site, you can start and finish a project with ThingLink in a single, short sitting. It may feel like a more static form of Prezi but, depending on your goal and audience, that’s exactly what you need.

WHAT IT HELPS

ThingLink has important benefits for users:

  • create and publish for an audience 
  • multimedia (text, images, music, video, social media)
  • interactive presentations
  • large amount of information in one graphic (with no clutter of text)

NEED TO KNOW

As mentioned, there are three fast steps to complete a ThingLink:

  1. upload an image
  2. add tags on the image (your “talking points”)
  3. add your text

First, pick a picture: yours or from online. You’re uploading an item of interest to you, or something you want your child to learn about.

My daughter and I found an overlooked carrot growing in a neighbour’s garden. She didn’t know the term “stem” and neither of us knew that the edible portion of this vegetable is called “taproot”.

carrot
As she also didn’t know the word “theft, I let her pick it since no one yells at a three-year-old for stealing.

We later uploaded our carrot photo to type its related terms.

Next, for those “talking points” within the picture, we clicked the area of the image we wanted to reference. That adds a tag which opens up a section for adding links and/or text. As you type in the description field, text appears in the image.

As we placed each tag on a part of the vegetable, my daughter typed her text. (“Stem! Taproot! Leaves!”) We added three more tags that described the carrot, too. (“Green! Orange! Garden!”)

As you can see by clicking the link, the tags always show on the image, with your text only appearing as you move the cursor over each tag.

That’s a finished ThingLink!

NICE TO KNOW

ThingLink lets you embed web sites, video and social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). You can link to these within each description (text box).

To correspond with the contents you’re adding, you can choose an appropriate icon: a play button for video, an “i” for information, etc.

icons

To show a range of icons and embedded files, here’s a ThingLink about the ultra-boring classic (*yawn*) game Battleship.

TEACHERS

If students get their own ThingLink accounts (you can sign up via email, Twitter or Facebook), here are the four steps to get a lesson going:

  1. upload an image to your account
  2. add in some level of information to get students started (if needed)
  3. have students copy (“remix”) your ThingLink to their own account
  4. students then complete the work

Using a map as an example, ThingLink can engage students in learning locations, historic facts or a battle progression. After students remix/save your upload, they can complete and add new tags as requested; they’re actively writing information, not passively looking at it.

Beyond knowledge, there’s lots of room in each description field to explore thinking concepts such as historical significance, cause and consequence and historical perspective.

ThingLink works well in assisting vocabulary acquisition and/or improving spelling. An example for kindergarten or ESL levels: studying body parts.

Very quickly, you could set up two methods.

1. Upload an image of a person and place the icons near each body part, but with empty tags for students to fill in.

2. Upload the image and place labeled tags on the side for students to drag and drop in the correction location.

Can’t you replicate maps and bodies on photocopies? Yes, but ThingLink also improves keyboarding and trackpad/mouse skills. As well, students can publish online to an open audience (no account needed to view link) of peers and family. Plus, kids prefer computers to paper cuts.

However, ThingLink can’t compare to a polar bear on a rocket ship.

LINKS

ThingLink: http://www.thinglink.com

My ThingLink examples: http://www.thinglink.com/MrPeterCullen

Me: http://www.petercullen.ca

Written by Peter Cullen

Peter Cullen loves to teach children. He specializes in literacy (elementary level) and has a lot of fun creating games and activities for class lessons. He also writes, manages social media accounts and announces roller derby games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *