Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Post 4: Thinglink and Education

Recently, I explored an educational social media website called Thinglink. This website allows users to upload photos and videos to turn them into interactive tools. For example, if I uploaded a video for my students to watch about the importance of recycling, Thinglink allows me to add in questions, comments, or external links that scroll across the video in order to help guide my students’ critical thinking and keep them engaged. With photographs, the creator can put interactive dots that create text boxes with information, website links, videos, or questions for the students to explore. Playing around with the site, I created an interactive tool about deforestation using specific pictures and icons on which I placed interactive buttons. For example, there is a picture with a panther; the interactive dots on this photo go to links about endangered animals affected by deforestation.

My interactive tool I made using Thinglink. 

allows me to compile links, questions, and videos to engage my students, spur research, and prompt them to own their learning. The site is also Google App friendly, allowing linkage to Google docs, maps, and forms. Looking at the social media side of the site, users can search and view other people’s creations if they do not have time to compile their own. A quick search of “panther” brings up a variety of interactive pictures displaying links, information, and videos to educate viewers about the animal. By simply clicking the heart icon, a user “touches” the photo, thus saving it to their Thinglink profile. By collecting tools this way, a user can effectively manage a variety of resources to share with their students or use to inspire their own interactive tool.

Thinglink has free and premium versions and is very user and classroom friendly. It allows teacher to sign into the account separately from their students, and features multiple channels to organize different units, classes, or groups. You can even use Thinglink in place of traditional projects by allowing students to compile research and make their own interactive tools rather than using markers and posters. Thinglink is a great tool that can be implemented into any classroom for it helps student engage in autonomous research, summarizing skills, and higher ordered thinking.   

Here is a link to the Thinglink education website:

Screenshot of Ms. Gorzney's Thinglink page

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