ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2019 Task 2: Create an interactive educator profile using photos, text, audio and video

This project will give you an opportunity to create a unique educator profile while practicing the use of all the basic tag types on ThingLink: text labels, photos, audio, video, and scene transition. 
If this is your first ThingLink Teacher Challenge, we will guide you through the experience with short how-to videos. If you have already made an interactive educator profile in previous challenges, this is your chance to make a new version, and share some of your experiences as a teacher from last year!
Once your interactive educator profile is done, you can share it on your blog, email signature, resume, or add it as a QR code on your name card!


Grace Ko’ s Educator Profile Example

Steps to Task 2:

Step 1. Find a photo that best represents you as an educator (for example, a photo of you in the classroom, with students, on a field trip, a memorable scene from a movie, a self-avatar, etc). On ThingLink, click “Create” to upload the photo and start editing. 

Step 2. Add a text label tagAdd your name and country as a text label. For example, “Educator profile: Grace Ko, Austin, Texas)

Tutorial:  How to add text label tag 

Step 3. Add a photo + audio tag

Add one or more photos of yourself or your classroom and a 1-min voice recording on “Why or How I became a teacher”.

Tutorial:  How to add image/text/audio tag 

Step 4. Add a video tag

Shoot a quick Flipgrid or YouTube video introducing yourself or sharing your best memory as a teacher.

Tutorial:  How to add a video tag

Step 5. Add an embed tag

Add embed code to the location of your school on Google Maps, or any school project that you would like to share. Alternatively, you can embed a Google or Microsoft Form. 

Tutorial:   How to add an embed tag

 

Step 6. Add a transition/tour tag

Choose “Create Tour” and link your profile to another previously created ThingLink image, for example, your image of biodiversity.

Tutorial: “How to add a tour tag

Congratulations! Your interactive educator profile is ready! Please submit using this form. 

 

Additional ideas for making your interactive educator profile even more unique:

Idea 1. Add a short video of you in action! This could be from the classroom or a short explanation of your teaching philosophy. Or, if you prefer, add a video from YouTube that is similar to your approach.

Tutorial:  How to add a video tag

Idea 2. Add a link to your resume or CV. You can embed it as a Google document or add a link to your LinkedIn profile or personal website.

Tutorial:  How to add an embed  tag

Idea 3. Use Flipgrid to shoot a short selfie video and add a video tag explaining “My best teaching moment.”

Tutorial: “How to add an embed  tag

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ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2019 Task 1: Document potential research problems for student-centered learning

In classroom use, ThingLink is a visual documentation tool that can support the various phases of active, student-centered learning. 

Project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and problem-based learning are constructivist approaches to education that develop the learners skills for research, problem-solving and collaboration. The process is based on authentic questions and problems identified by students, and finding information and explanation models to research and solve them. An important aspect of student-centered learning is documentation. Students are encouraged to use multiple sources and forms of media to collect information and to share it with others as they deepen their understanding of the chosen topic.

 

 

Image: Active student-centered learning model, translated and adopted from Lakkala, M. & Lallimo, J. (2002). 

TASK 1: Document potential research questions onsite using text and photo annotations

Our first teacher challenge task focuses on taking multimedia notes outside the classroom. We will document potential research questions in our chosen real-world context using text and photo annotations. You will learn:

Technical skills: Taking multimedia notes using ThingLink mobile app or a desktop editor.  

Pedagogic skills: Basic understanding of how to apply multimedia documentation to different stages of a student-centered learning process.

 

Our topic: Biodiversity

The context for our first task is biodiversity, broadly speaking, what does it mean, how do we understand it, what are examples of it locally, how does it impact our lives, etc. Our task is to document potential research questions to study biodiversity using simple text and photo annotations. 

Example:

Task description

1: Visit an outdoor location: a forest, park, garden, or your own backyard, and make observations about its biodiversity. Think about questions that you would be interested in learning more about.

2: Take photos of the location using your phone or tablet. 

3: Log on your teacher account on ThingLink.com. Select one or two background photos of the place and upload them to ThingLink.

4: Document observations and potential research questions on the image using text and photos.

5: When you are ready, submit your project using this form.

 

Tips:

If you use ThingLink mobile app for iOS or Android, you can also record notes and questions directly in the image. 

 

Further reading on the subject:

Lonka, Hakkarainen, Sintonen (2000): Progressive inquiry learning for children — Experiences, possibilities, limitations

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FEATURED PROJECT : Turn a local museum into a virtual learning environment for schools to overcome space, time, and budget limitations

Jari Simonaho is a technology specialist at POKE Vocational College where he has participated in multiple projects innovating learning environments for vocational education. He trains teachers and students to adopt new technologies in learning. The idea for the virtual museum came from visiting the British Museum in London; there was so much to see, but not enough time to explore it all. This got him thinking it would be great to be able to visit museums virtually from home without any time limits, this would make museums accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Project goals:

  • Develop an experience that increases understanding of local history without time and space limitations
  • Let students explore the tour at their own pace to encourage curiosity, develop self-directed learning, and in-depth understanding of contents
  • Create a model for developing organization skills for producing materials for virtual tours
  • Create a model for developing technical skills for editing virtual tours

Tools used:

  • ThingLink for creating an interactive virtual museum presentation
  • 360-degree camera with a monopod
  • Windows 10 Photos App for editing photos and videos

Note: Editing was kept at a minimum to show teachers and students that expert level skills or expensive software are not necessary to create a virtual museum.

Production in three phases

Preparation: Jari introduced the idea of a virtual museum to a small local museum in  Äänekoski that is currently closed from the public.  The timing was good, since the museum was about to be moved to a new location. They let Jari in to document the old museum space and its objects. 

Documentation: Jari captured three different types of media for the tour:

  • 360-images and regular images of the main spaces with audio guides
  • 360-images connecting different parts of the museum
  • 1-min video clips of curator explanations
  • 1-minute video clips about the details of different artifacts

The purpose of using multiple short videos was to help the students stay focused, and to encourage self-paced exploration of the museum.  

Editing: Jari included in his tour over 20 different scenes of the museum space. Identifying, capturing and adding all the details  to each of the scenes took about 40 hours in total.

The value of virtual museum tours to teachers

Jari thinks teachers can benefit from virtual museum tours in multiple ways:

  • Primary school teachers who lack time and resources could use it to introduce local history to their students.
  • Tours of familiar places inspire students to create their own tours and experiences and this way increase engagement in learning.
  • Museums as partners benefit from these kinds of projects as they can use the virtual tours for marketing and for reaching visitors who could not otherwise access the museum.

Tips for colleagues:

Documentation:

  • Make sure 360-camera is horizontally level before taking pictures.
  • Always take multiple 360-degree pictures with different exposure settings from each spot and then on computer choose the best pictures for ThingLink.
  • Use the remote shutter option, Bluetooth function, or time interval shooting and then go hide somewhere out of the picture area to avoid being exposed in the pictures.
  • Reserve plenty of time for a project like this.

Other tips:

  • A teacher could prepare questions for the students and then let them find the answers from the virtual museum which means that the teacher could motivate students with gamification.
  • By allowing the students to create their own virtual tours, teachers can nurture the students to be creators and innovators.

Result: Students got summer jobs as virtual tour producers

The feedback for Jari’s project has been overwhelmingly positive and other museums in the area have become interested to create similar virtual tours. As a result, the city of Äänekoski hired students from POKE Vocational School to create 360-degrees virtual content for tourism. These tours will be ready after the summer!

Jari’s testimonial: “Well-made virtual history tours can support teachers by giving them an immersive learning environment that’s like a book that the students can walk into. A virtual tour is not limited to text and photos.”

 

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FEATURED PROJECT: Build a Virtual Immigration Museum to Learn About History

 

Educator: Karalee Nakatsuka teaches U.S. History at First Avenue Middle School in Arcadia. In a collaborative project between their history and ELA departments, Mrs Nakatsuka’s students interviewed immigrants to America, and created interactive virtual museums to tell their immigrant stories.

Goals:

  • Get first-hand experience of immigration and the conditions that pushed immigrants out of their home country as well as the conditions which  pulled them to America.
  • Learn how to conduct an oral history interview
  • Develop digital production and presentation skills using multiple content creation tools

 

Tools used:

  • Google Slides, WeVideo, Animoto, Storyjumper or ScreenCastify for documenting immigrant story
  • Flipgrid for sharing reflections on immigration
  • Google Tour Creator to visualize the immigrant journey
  • ThingLink for creating an interactive virtual museum presentation

 

Background: From tri-fold boards to interactive images

Early on, Mrs Nakatsuka and the First Avenue Middle School 8th grade team started hosting an Ellis Island Day to give her students an opportunity to reflect on what it was like to immigrate to America.

Students took the information they learned from their oral histories and created tri-fold boards, introducing their immigrant’s experience to their classmates. On Ellis Island Day, they placed the boards in a classroom and designated this space their “Immigration Museum” where students had the opportunity to visit the museum and learn about their classmates’ stories.

This was a great activity, but it had its limitations:  

  • Many students ran out of time and couldn’t finish viewing the displays
  • Absent students and community members missed out on visiting the “Immigration Museum”
  • Display boards were bulky, challenging to set up and take down,  and students were limited in what they could share on each panel.
  • Absent students missed the opportunity to view their fellow students’ projects.  

 

Project idea: Student-created virtual museums

After Karalee started using ThingLink, she was inspired to teach her students how to document their work and create their own virtual museums. The process was organized into six tasks:

  1. Select a person with an immigrant story for the interview
  2. Conduct interview
  3. Write up interview
  4. Prepare a presentation and a movie/animation of the immigrant story
  5. Create a customized background image for the Virtual Museum –including a directory of embedded information
  6. Tag the Virtual Museum with ThingLink and include:
  • A picture of the interviewee
  • A picture or video of a meaningful artifact to the immigrant
  • A video highlighting one aspect of the immigrant’s experience (e.g. MyMap, PuppetPals, Animoto, WeVideo, Powtoons, Storyjumper)
  • A map tracing the immigrant’s journey
  • A slides presentation of the immigrant story (using information from their Oral History interview)
  • A Flipgrid video reflection of the immigrant story, and optionally
  • An audio or video capture including the immigrant’s voice.

This list of materials became the directory that helped viewers navigate the museum.

 

 

 

 

Finally, teachers can collect all of the individual virtual museum links into one starting image.

Compared to the three-fold cardboard display, virtual museum presentations had the following benefits:

  • They can be shared with everyone. This means absent students, community members, parents and fellow teachers can visit student museums even if they cannot attend the annual Ellis Island Day.
  • Students can include more information in their virtual museum–pictures, movies, their English oral history presentations, Flipgrid videos and more.
  • Provides  students opportunities to use and practice 21st century skills

 

Tips or comments for colleagues:

  • Previous knowledge of ThingLink will ensure student success.  Provide opportunities for students to use ThingLink throughout the school year. Scaffolding will ensure a successful product.  
  • Collect the personal museum urls from students on a Google Form and use these links to tag in the main room of the museum.
  • Create a ThingLink tour by linking multiple images; the students will be able to “travel” through the different countries/continents as they visit their schoolmates’ virtual museums.

 

Karalee’s testimonial:

“ThingLink provides endless opportunities for both student and teacher to bring history to life. It engages students to practice and develop their 21st century skills as they collaborate and problem solve during the creation of their museums. And unlike the tri-fold presentation boards of the past, student content is not limited, and the end product can be shared outside of the confines of the four walls of our classroom. ”

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FEATURED PROJECT: Improve Pre-service Teachers’ Understanding on Special Education through VR

Educator: Grace Ko is a Ph.D. student in Learning Technologies at the University of Texas, Austin. She has been a high school English teacher in Korea for the past seven years and has participated in multiple projects that involve technology integration in learning. Grace has worked as a research teacher at the Seoul Future School and developed mobile application WikiTalki to facilitate language learning in public schools. Currently, her research interest lies in the application of AR and AR in learning.

Goals:

  • Develop understanding of special education class management tactics for pre-service teachers
  • Provide the experience of visiting special education classroom in Virtual Reality (VR) format
  • Suggest a new type of professional development/ teacher training material in interactive VR experience

Tools used:

  • ThingLink for creating an interactive virtual classroom presentation
  • 360-degree camera with a monopod

Background: Tackling Lack of Special Education Training in Teacher Credential Programs 

Teacher credential program for general subject teachers only require one 3-credit course on the topic of special education. This course is often insufficient both in terms of information and practical experience for the teachers to serve students with special needs in the future.

Nevertheless, an increasing number of general education teachers face this challenge in their everyday teaching as integrated education model is becoming popular. Thus, Grace thought it is crucial to find innovative methods for pre-service teachers to have experiences that can lead to better understanding and preparation for teaching in integrated classrooms.

Project Idea: Innovating Professional Development with Interactive VR Experience

Grace wanted to try bringing the pre-service teachers into the special education classrooms through Virtual Reality (VR). She teamed up with Kai Osorio, a Policy Analyst at San Francisco United School District to visit two well-equipped special education classrooms in Northern California. In the first phase, Grace and Kai:

  1. Took  360 photos of special education classrooms
  2. Interviewed special education teachers and
  3. Documented each component in the classroom, such as Mood Meter, Math Tangibles, and Individual Working Stations that helped provide a more profound understanding of the special education tactics used in a classroom.


For creating the  VR experience, they reviewed various VR content creation platforms and chose ThingLink for five reasons:

  • The interface design is simple, modern, and EASY
  • Tour creator enables to see  the classroom environment from different angles
  • Editor supports embed links that lets teachers to read & watch more information
  • A broad variety of interactions to keep teachers focused throughout the tour 
  • Viewing in various high-end VR headsets to fully enable a virtual field experience

The virtual special education classrooms created by Grace and Kai are showcased at the ThingLink booth in the Microsoft Mixed Reality area at ISTE 2019, Philadelphia. 

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ISTE 2019: ThingLink announces major accessibility update with Immersive Reader integration

Most ThingLink images and videos include short text descriptions that give context to the visual experience and help the viewer understand what they are looking at. At ISTE 2019 we are launching an integration with Microsoft’s Immersive Reader, which means all text descriptions, lessons, virtual tours, infographics, and videos created with ThingLink’s new editor now come with an integrated reading tool and automatic language translation capability.

Here are six examples of how this can support educators and learners in classrooms and at workplaces:

1. Educational images, virtual tours, and other visual learning materials with text descriptions are accessible in Immersive Reader. This helps learners with an impaired ability to read or comprehend written words or grammar structure.

 Example 1 Reading tool 

2. Visual learning materials such as 360 degree tours are instantly available in multiple languages. The same lesson materials can be used to include and engage learners from different language backgrounds.

Example 2- Wudang mountains 360 lesson

3. Students can express themselves and work on assignments in multiple languages. This supports engagement and motivation in a situation where teacher and student do not speak the same language.

Example 3- Student presentation

4. Learning materials in any subject can be repurposed for language learning. This supports cross-disciplinary and collaborative teaching practices, as well as learning language in a familiar, meaningful context.

Example 4- Rotunda art and language lesson

5. Teachers in different countries can share lesson plans and learning materials. This creates a new kind of foundation for global, professional collaboration.

Example 5 Teacher community and PD

6. Students around the world can collaborate on assignments in their own native language.This helps build global capabilities and understanding of different cultures.

Example 6 Plastic pollution report field trip

If you are at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia, come and say hello to the ThingLink team at the Microsoft booth #2900 and learn about the latest Immersive Reader integration and direct sharing to Teams assignments!

 

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7 updates to ThingLink editor: text labels, simplified tag selector, radar, and more!

 We are very excited to share seven feature updates to the new editor:
1. Support for text labels (size limit 140 symbols)
 Short text labels are a great way to guide attention to details, introduce new vocabulary, or help the viewer understand what they are looking at.
This is a photo of the new text label
2. All custom fields are empty by default
No more Niagara Falls! The tag preview starts from an empty canvas. Just add your text, title, link or photos!
3. Tag shape automatically adjusts to your content. See examples below:
+ If you only have three or fewer lines of text, it will align at the middle of the tag:
+ If you have more then three lines, the text will align to the left:
+ Same alignment when you upload an image:
 
+ Without title and link, text shows under the image
+  Images in a tag that have text on the right side will open in full when you click them. Click again and you see the text.
  
4. Support for markdown that unlocks bold and italic in tag text
Use asterisks for *bold* text, underscores for__italics_.
 
5. New look and behavior for the transition tag 
The new version has a line underneath the icon and it blinks on hover. Clicking transitions the viewer to the next scene.  Note: Transition does not anymore have a label so that we can differentiate it from the new text label.
6. Tour has a default BACK button for easier navigation 
The button appears automatically in the upper left corner of each image or video.
7. A Radar view for 360 images and videos 
The packman looking icon in the upper right corner is a radar that shows your position (yellow dot) and viewing range. This helps you get an idea of the number and location of hotspots in a scene.
We hope you like these updates — we will be sharing more exciting product news next week from ISTE, Philadelphia!
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How to Increase Your Virtual Instruction Time Without Putting in More Hours

360-degree images and videos can help students develop understanding of real-world environments outside their classroom, but trying to successfully setup twenty-five headsets for a shared VR experience is not easy. For a while, we have been thinking of an alternative solution, based on the following three assumptions:

  1. A learner benefits from an expert introduction: a teacher guiding a VR tour helps a student pay attention to relevant things.
  2. Shared VR does not have to be live VR. Asynchronous viewing is improves access and flexibility.
  3. Students should be able to revisit the experience and explore at their own pace.

When Google launched Expeditions in 2015, ThingLink team started getting two kinds of emails from teachers. Most wanted to know if we could support 360 image annotation so that teachers could create their own expeditions and tours together with students. Shortly after, in May 2016, we launched our 360 image editor.

The second question concerned the ability to guide the tour to make sure students would pay attention to things that were relevant for the lesson. This one was tricky, because we did not think it was conceptually right to replicate the traditional classroom experience in VR.

In the traditional setup, a teacher stands in front of the classroom, and students are trying to get what the teacher says and means. It’s the same story, speed, and highlights for everyone, no matter if you are a fast or a slow learner, or if you speak the language or not.

Now, if you keep this setup and just put VR headsets on all the students, not much changes, except:

– You will need a lot of headsets, a budget to cover them, and a space to store them.

– Getting students to open the right app from the phone settings does not go smoothly. This eats time from instruction.

– Not all the devices will work properly. Not all the kids are patient.

– Some kids will stand up and bump into each other.

– It is harder for the students to hear the teacher wearing a headset.

Nevertheless, 360 viewing is a wonderful way to extend the boundaries of the classroom, but how to do that without complicating the logistics during instruction time? How can students get more quality time with their teacher in both the virtual and the physical learning space?

A narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots

The solution we came up with lets anyone record their introduction to a topic and save it in the background of a virtual tour. This also includes being able to define a sequence for informational hotspots that matches with the narration and guides viewers’ attention during a tour.

This new format came from the marriage of two existing ThingLink editor features: background audio and video editing. For lack of a better term, we will refer to it as a narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots.

Physical instruction time vs. virtual instruction time

Let’s say you have prepared a unit introduction of ancient Egypt, and the total physical instruction time for this one-time orientation in the classroom would be about 20 minutes.

Now, if you record the introduction and add it in the background of selected 360 images from Egypt, you as an educator have created yourself a presence in the cloud. From now on, views of this narrated VR experience by students will increase your virtual instruction time. Let’s continue the thought experiment and say all the students view your introduction at least once, and half of the students want to revisit the introduction from home as they are writing a related essay. In total, the virtual introduction is viewed 60 times each year (60 x 20min). This adds up to a total of 20 hours of virtual instruction time per year for this specific class and unit about ancient Egypt.

 

The introduction that was previously available for students only once in a certain physical space is now available and accessible to students any time. The teacher does not have to stress about giving the introduction on the spots while helping students to set up their headsets. Instead, this time can be saved for individual and group discussions.

Accessibility, flexibility, and cost savings

To sum up, a narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots is an asynchronous shared VR experience that benefits teachers, students, and schools in three essential ways:

1.It takes learning out of the classroom, but keeps the teachers guiding their students. Just like in any other environment, teachers help students to pay attention to the things that are relevant to their learning process. This can include introducing key concepts, giving general instructions for viewing, or inviting the classroom to think about certain questions as they explore the tour.

2.Narrated VR tours increase accessibility and flexibility in learning. A recorded VR introduction can be explored at any time, on any device, and from any location. This leaves more time for group and individual discussions.

3.Viewing VR tours in small groups or individually saves money: Not every student needs their own headset. Headsets can be kept clean and shared with multiple students. This makes immersive learning experiences possible for schools with smaller budgets.

5 steps for creating your own narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots

1. Upload a 360 image to ThingLink or select one from ThingLink image library

2. Record your introduction using a voice memo app on mobile or desktop

3. Open ThingLink editor and add the voice memo file (mp3, m4a) as a background audio to your image

4. Click “Play” to listen to your audio in the background and start adding informational hotspots

5. Adjust duration for tags, when you are done, click Save and share via LMS or link.

We look forward to seeing your work so please keep sharing projects, ideas or comments to ThingLink Education Facebook group or ThingLink Education on Twitter!

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THINGLINK RELEASES FREE 360 IMAGES TO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES AND INVITES TEACHERS TO CREATE LESSONS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

A GLOBAL TEACHER CHALLENGE

ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2019 focuses on developing digital storytelling skills in the context of cultural heritage and sustainable development. We invite teachers from different countries and regions to include virtual field trips in lesson plans, and to create new immersive learning experiences in multiple languages.  

A FREE 360 IMAGE LIBRARY

Appreciation of different cultures and the legacy of past generations often starts from a personal experience. This is why we have put together a collection of professional 360 images of some of the most prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Viewing these images on computers, mobile devices, or mobile VR headsets does not require a ThingLink account. In addition, all images are available for reuse and editing under the free ThingLink Teacher account.  They can be used individually for specific lessons, or combined into a virtual tour.

CULTURAL SITES

Ancient building complex in the Wudang Mountains, China

Nubian Pyramids, Meroë, Sudan

Abu Simbel, the small temple of Nefertari

Central Library (UNAM), Mexico

Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley, Armenia

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Luxor Temple, Egypt

Ad Deir Monastery, Petra, Jordania

Forum of Cesar, Rome, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Old Havana, Cuba

Acik Saray, Gulsehir, Turkey

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Lake Geneva, France

Monasterio del Escorial, Madrid, Spain

Vatican City

Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal

Historic Town of Gran-Bassam, Cote D’Ivoire, Africa

Fujian Tulou buildings, China

Pre-Saharan habitat Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

The Meidan Emam, Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, Esfahan, Iran

Meteora Varlaam Monastery Steps, Greece

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahanm, Iran

 

NATURAL SITES

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

Yosemite National Park, USA

Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Turkey

Nærøyfjord, Norway

Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar

Black Lake in Durmitor National Park, Republic of Montenegro

Sagarmathan National Park, Nepal

Stirling Waterfalls at Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand

Laguna Llanganuco, Huascarán National Park, Peru

Lagoons of New Caledonia, France

Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

Canaima National Park, Venezuela, Sororo Pan Mountain

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Central Amazon Conservation Complex, Brazil

Okawango Delta Botswana

 

HOW TO ADD THESE IMAGES TO YOUR OWN THINGLINK ACCOUNT

If you are new to ThingLink, here is how to get access to the images listed above:

  1. Register for a free ThingLink Teacher account at thinglink.com
  2. Go to the Explore tab.
  3. Choose any image in the featured images and click “add to my account”. Now this image is copied to your account.
  4. Create a lesson or a virtual audio tour by editing the image and adding text, photos, videos, or audio recording.
  5. Use the Tour Creator tag for creating transitions from one image to another
  6. Share your image to ThingLink Education group on Facebook or on Twitter and tag it with @unesco #worldheritage!

You are also warmly welcome to use these images in an existing educational program, course, workshop, or event. To discuss other partnership opportunities, please contact us at education@thinglink.com!

More information: A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. ThingLink won the 2018 UNESCO ICT in Education Prize.

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MOPIC VIRTUAL MUSEUM PROJECT BRINGS HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS TO LIFE

An interview with ThingLink Certified Educator Karsten Steiner, a passionate iPadagog and music teacher from Åland Islands and the author of “Motion pictures at an exhibition MoPic” on iBook.


“As a music teacher I’ve been inspired by Modest Mussorgsky’s famous piece “Pictures at an Exhibition” in which he describes his friend’s paintings in a musical way. This gave me the idea to contact my colleagues in different countries and create a virtual museum that gave old pictures a new life, with help of film, theatre, new art and digital technologies.”

What is the Mopic project?

MOPIC is a digital history museum for students, made by students. It was done as a two-year ERASMUS project in collaboration between four countries: Lithuania, Catalonia (Spain), England and the Åland Island (Finland). During the two years, each country organized a one-week long creative workshop, the results of which were documented for the virtual museum. The students from the participating countries were between the age of thirteen and sixteen, 8th and 9th grade. Altogether, the project involved directly and indirectly over 1,000 people.

Together with my colleagues, we organized the project into six phases:

1: TEST RUN WITH TEACHERS (CRITICAL)

In the beginning of the project eight teachers came together for a week to think about the learning goals and desired end results for the project.

2: FINDING HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS

Next step for each student group was to discover three interesting local historical projects and the stories behind them. For each project, students had to find images, photographs or archeological materials. These pictures were the start for three virtual  project rooms in each countrys’ exhibition space. To keep all materials in one place the groups used Padlet.

3: ART WORKSHOP IN ÅLAND

The historical pictures inspired the first workshop in Åland, during which  students they learned

different ways and techniques to create new art based on the local stories.

4: MUSIC WORKSHOP IN CATALONIA

This workshop gave students an opportunity to interpret the collected materials with music using creative instruments like water bottles, Makey Makey kits and GarageBand.

5: THEATRE WORKSHOP IN LITHUANIA

Here, students chose a photograph that they wanted to bring to life by acting in front of a green screen. Students learned to design and sew their own costumes and apply theatre makeup to finalize their historical character.

After this workshop all countries had the needed materials for their own virtual museum room. The tools for organizing the different tasks and sharing the materials included Trello, Dropbox, and Google drive. The students communicated with each other using Facebook groups and Flipgrid videos. The virtual museum was created with ThingLink.

6: VIRTUAL TOUR CREATION WORKSHOP IN ENGLAND

Finally, each of the country teams collected their materials from the previous workshops and combined them into a 360 degree virtual experience using ThingLink. The local stories came together in the MOPIC exhibition that gave the audience an option to use VR headsets and walk through the museum experience in each country.

What kind of learning goals did you set for the project?

As much as the end result, we were interested in the journey leading to it, and getting answer to questions like:

  • What did the students want to learn about their own local history?
  • What can historical photos tell us about our present?
  • How can we use our knowledge about history to build something new?

These questions opened up great opportunities for students to learn about:

  • Research methods for making art inspired by different materials and role models
  • Creative expression in making music, acting, masking, and costume design
  • Use of digital tools for filming, interviewing, audio recording and green screen
  • Visit other countries and learn about their culture
  • Communicate in English, socialize and have fun together

What is the value of the 360 degree presentation of project results?

The additional value of 360 viewing is the experience of being inside the virtual museum world and to be able to focus and walk around without distractions. For students, it also gives a new kind of opportunity to be an active part of the production and the whole educational process. Both students and teachers got an opportunity to extend their creativity, social and digital skills.

What comes next?

I am very grateful for being able to bring so many different professionals together with the students and everyone was open to  learn from each other! The students feel very proud about the outcome of the project and many of them got unforgettable experiences and friends for life.

Going forward, I hope that Mopic can be an example for learning and collaborating in multi-cultural environments, and that in the future I will have the possibility to work with more schools from different countries. In fact, I would like to invite any school, no matter what grade or level to try this out! I’m welcoming every new idea with open arms, please feel free to contact me at karstensteiner@me.com!

 

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