A New Day of Learning: 10 Ways to use ThingLink

Sunday, February 21, 2016

10 Ways to use ThingLink

What is ThingLink?

ThingLink is a platform for creating interactive images and videos for web, social, advertising, and educational channels.  It allows you to make your images come alive with video, text, images, and music.  ThingLink works as an app or in a browser which is great for classrooms that have iPads or Chromebook type computers. 

Would you like to see what I mean?  Click on the image below to take you a ThingLink I made full of examples of how teachers are using ThingLink in their content areas. Trust me - you will want to check it out because these examples will get your creative juices flowing!

#1 -  Getting to Know You

Have students take a picture of themselves or draw a self-portrait and then have them tag the image with interesting things about themselves.  They could include: favorite band/song, book, maps of places they have visited, hobbies, career aspirations, etc.  This would be a great way for students to get to know each other when working on establishing a classroom community.  You can check out the one I started here: Getting to Know Mrs. Kabdi

#2 - Identify Parts 

Consider using ThingLink in place of a quiz by having students tag an image with the parts of something.  In an tech ed class, you might have them label the parts of an engine.  In a computer class, you might have them label the parts of a toolbar and tell what they mean.  In a science class, you might have them label the parts of a plant, the water cycle, the periodic table, or the layers of the Earth.  Layers of the Earth Example

#3 - Interactive Reports

Have students choose an image that represents a topic they are studying (be careful of copyrights) and then have them tag the image with their research.  This could include sound clips, videos, summaries of a written paper, podcasts, or even google docs they have written.  Martin Luther King Jr. Example

#4 - Communicate with Parents

Do you ever have trouble getting parents to read your newsletters?  Consider making a ThingLink to show off what the students learned this week.  You could take a picture of their post-note exit tickets and tag them with the names of the students. You could even start your year off by letting students and parents know what to expect in your class. Welcome to 4th Grade Example

#5 - Interactive Bulletin Boards

Take a picture of your bulletin board showcasing the work your students did and tag it with videos of each student reading.  Send the link to parents to show them the progress their child is making.  You can even take a picture of your bulletin board to introduce new content to your students.  Think about introducing vocabulary words, having students watch a video, or activating background knowledge by having students explore a ThingLink at home, during centers, or after they finish other work.  This will help make the most of your instructional time when you are ready to teach.  Technology Bulletin Board Example

#6 - Progress Monitoring

Take a picture of your student and then tag the image with audio or video of the student reading at the beginning of the year and then update it monthly or before each time you meet with parents. Wouldn't it be neat to watch your students progress on mastering a skill in phy-ed? How about a musical instrument? To protect student privacy, I am not including an example, but I think you can see how powerful a timeline of progress would be for the parents and the student. 

#7 - Book Talks

This is a great way to get students talking about the books they have read.  They can make recommendations to their friends, or they can report out on the things on the rubric you provide them. You can then turn the link the to ThingLink into a QR code and tape it to the cover of the book.  Display them in your classroom and students will have instant access to a peer review of a book they might be interested in reading! A View From Saturday Example

#8 - Photo Collages

Using photo collages is a great way to introduce content in a timeline format.  You could put together a timeline of famous artists or musicians, or even a timeline of when the states were added to the union.  You could have students tag each picture with dates or relevant videos.  A photo collage is a great way to keep your students and parents in the loop with which apps you are using the classroom with a short description explaining the purpose.  You could even make a photo collage of your classroom to send home to students before the start of the year to get them excited about coming back.  Technology Example Classroom Tour Example Timeline Example

#9 -  Make Art Talk

I love this idea for art shows! Have students take a picture of their art and then tag it with the story behind their piece.  They can talk about their design process, mediums, and revisions.  Embed the ThingLink link in a QR code and put it next to the art and now the show becomes interactive! Students can also showcase their knowledge of different forms of art through their drawing and it can be used as an assessment. Art Example

#10 - Vocabulary

Turn learning vocabulary into a multimedia experience! You and students can tag each image of the word with the audio file of the pronunciation of the word, a link to the word being used in a sentence, a photo or video demonstrating the word, or a dictionary definition.  Students could present their word to the class or add their tag to a picture of the class word wall. Vocabulary Example

I hope you got some ideas about how to use ThingLink in your classroom and it got your creative juices flowing! I am doing a training this upcoming week for the teachers in my district and I can't wait to see what ideas they will come up with to use ThingLink with their students.  If you need more ideas, check out this resource, which was the inspiration behind my post. 

How will you use ThingLink in your classroom?

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