ThingLink and YetiTablet Announce Collaboration Bringing Multisensory Learning Experiences to Giant Touch Screens

The partnership  focuses on solutions that help patients, elders and students with learning disabilities navigate everyday challenges at home, school, or residential care facility.

Greetings from Dare to Learn Festival, Helsinki! We are happy to share that ThingLink and Kuori, the Finnish manufacturer of giant YetiTablet touch screens, have agreed on a partnership. Our goals is to deliver a new plug-and-play solution to hospitals and medical centers, residential care facilities, and special education classrooms for easily creating and displaying interactive, multisensory content on a large touch screen.

YetiTablet is a large-scale tablet built on an open Android OS. This means it works like a smartphone, and does not require additional software installations or learning a new operating system. Similarly, creating interactive images with ThingLink does not require previous technical knowledge, and is suitable for content creators of any age.

At the core of the collaboration is bringing interactive multimedia experiences to large touch screens.

Example 1: Navigating in the everyday environment

Interactive experiences on large touch screens can help understand the everyday home or learning environment; where things are, what are they called, and what should one do. For example, an interactive image from inside of a fridge can help an autistic person or a patient with a memory disorder to process information and build a sensible path for action. It can also contain notes, audio clues, or videos from caregivers and teachers.

Example 2: Supporting virtual mobility

Virtual tours on large touch screens give patients with restricted physical mobility an opportunity to access the world virtually. Unlike with VR headsets, with large touch screens patients can move and touch interactive images together, discover sounds, narration, or additional photos. This way, virtual tours in rest homes, hospital lounges or waiting rooms can become a stimulating social experience.

 

For more information and contacts, visit YetiTablet.

Read More

ThingLink + Nearpod: New Virtual Reality Experiences for English Learners

We are excited to share that ThingLink and Nearpod have partnered to bring new experiences to language learning! Nearpod’s new lessons “Virtual Reality for English Learners” uses ThingLink’s technology to take students on interactive virtual tours to familiar environments in the community that engage and motivate students to learn. Nearpod’s goal is to “provide the most realistic medium in which language learning becomes meaningful and responsive”.

For example, the “At the Ice Cream Shop” lesson takes students to Lulu’s Ice Cream Shop in Florida. Students can explore the shop from both the customer’s and the shopkeeper’s perspective, and learn the key vocabulary to describe things they see.  Icons created with ThingLink’s 360 photo editor indicate a point of interest that contains a closeup image, a written word, and audio feedback.

The lesson includes opportunities for students to get to know other cultures by exploring ice cream from around the world and share their own knowledge through a combination of formative assessments. Students also get to hear from Luisa, the owner of the ice cream shop and an English Learner herself. “Every lesson includes a story from an English Learner. We want students to see themselves in these success stories and know that the hard work they’re putting in is worth it!”  shares Mari Lasnetski, Director for Nearpod EL.

To celebrate the partnership, ThingLink users can get a 15% discount on Nearpod’s Gold licenses using the promo code NP-THINGLINK. Similarly, Nearpod users can use the code VR4EL to get 15% off ThingLink’s Teacher Premium account!

Download the a free example lesson.

More information about Nearpod EL solution.

Create your own virtual language tours with ThingLink Teacher Premium.

Read More

News: ThingLink Now Supports LTI!

ThingLink now supports LTIWe are very excited to announce that ThingLink has just added support for LTI! Learning Technology Interoperability (LTI) is a protocol that lets learning management systems such as Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, and Moodle easily integrate external tools into their platform.

With ThingLink’s new LTI integration, onboarding students is easier than ever. Schools and districts will now have the option to seamlessly register student and teacher accounts directly through LTI, eliminating the need for manual registration using invitation codes. Read more details about how to connect to ThingLink through your LMS.

Included in all ThingLink school and organization accounts, LTI is the best way to make ThingLink accessible to a large group of users. Questions about how you can use LTI with your school account? Contact us at education@thinglink.com!

 

 

Read More

How to get a ThingLink Teacher Challenge Certificate: Create a digital portfolio of your work

We have one more week left in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge, and some of you have asked if it is possible to get a certificate for completing all the activities. Yes, this is possible! The final task collects your work in a digital portfolio and completes your ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2018!

This is what you need to do to receive a certificate:

 

Read More

An Imaginary Interview with Lev Vygotsky on Immersive Storytelling and Learning

The theme of our Teacher Challenge 2018 is “Immersive Storytelling”. Many of you have asked what does it mean, and how does it connect to learning. Here is a playful conversation starter on the topic based on my presentation at the Festival della Didattica Digitale earlier this year. It is an imaginary interview about immersive storytelling and learning with Lev Vygotsky, one of the pioneers in developmental psychology and the founder of sociocultural theory of learning. The key point of the post is this: Naming or describing real or imaginary relations between objects in our field of perception using multiple forms of language awakens intellectual processes fundamental to learning. This explains the potential value of technologies like ThingLink and the reason why you should take the ThingLink Teacher Challenge this year!

A note about this imaginary interview: Even though the thought of this presentation emerged spontaneously, it’s clear that Vygotsky’s work and the sociocultural theory can provide valuable tools for understanding the impact of immersive technologies to learning. I warmly welcome comments and further discussion on the topic, as I continue to work on longer explanations and examples on each point.

Q: Let’s start with some of the key concepts. How would you define ‘storytelling’?

V: Storytelling is a logical form of thought. It is an analytical process including perception, labeling, organizing, categorizing real and imaginary objects and their real and imaginary relations in speech.

Q: What do you think immersive documentation technologies such as 360 images and videos can bring to this process?

V: 360 degree media and virtual reality are cultural-historically developed tools that mediate our relationship to the world in a new way. They expand the possible fields of perception transcending space and time. Perception precedes other psychological functions.

Q: What does this mean for a first grade student who at school attends to virtual reality classes across the world?

A child learns to speak by singling out and categorizing meaningful objects in their field of perception. If the field of perception expands beyond the child’s physical environment, so does the development of other psychological functions.

Another point to consider is language: we all perceive the world through our speech. Learning to use multiple forms of speech for expressing relations in real or digital environments expands our cognitive capabilities.

Q: Let’s talk more about expressing those relations and making them visible. How do you see the function of labels or annotations in images?

V: Labeling creates new structural centers to perception. Guiding attention, they can support the internalization of new concepts and meanings.

Q: How does this relate to immersive storytelling?

V: Immersive storytelling can be understood as an activity through which students use language to visualize relations and meaning in 360 degree digital environments.

Naming or describing relations between objects in our field of perception using verbal or visual language awakens intellectual processes fundamental to learning.

Q: Would you say immersive storytelling is a form of creative play?

V: That is a possible interpretation. Play is a psychological process through which we create an imaginary situation or place, reflecting or separating objects and their actual meaning, or creating new meanings. The ability to digitally create and modify situations and environments can be understood as a form of play, opening a realm of spontaneity and freedom, connected with pleasure.

Q: Can robots help us learn? Is AI already the More Knowledgeable Other?

V: The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) refers to anyone or anything who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. If a robot with artificial intelligence can function as an MKO and support our problem solving, it can expand our Zone of Proximal Development.

Read More

How do You Thinglink?

by Patricia Merlino, ThingLink Certified Educator and Trainer

Six years ago I first discovered ThingLink. There was only one way to ThingLink with interactive images.ThingLink has come a long way. Now, there are multiple ways toThingLink. Interactive images expanded with many new features, Google integration, and an extensive library of icons. Thinglink 360 combines virtual reality images with interactivity making an immersive experience even more engaging.  ThingLink video combines with interactions as viewers watch transforming passive to active learning. The question of “How do you Thinglink?” is certainly one to ponder. There are options.

Read More

ThingLink Teacher Challenge June Update

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge is going strong at the end of June. If you haven’t joined us yet, this would be a great time to get started! We’ve launched 3 activities to date. Participants will find they can complete all three of them in about 2-4 hours, depending on your experience level, and the depth of the activity you design. Here is a summary of resources to help everyone stay on track during this self-paced PD opportunity in June and July.

Read More

ThingLink Teacher Challenge Week 3: Designing a Virtual Audio Tour

What is a virtual tour or an immersive story?  A virtual tour takes the viewer to a real or imaginary location or place that is captured in a 360 image or video.  A tour that consists of multiple images typically has 1) a theme and 2) a storyline that defines how and in which order the images connect to each other.

Starting from documenting student projects at the school grounds to traveling around the world, here are examples of the most common 360 tour themes from ThingLink users:

  1. Documenting a student project
  2. Documenting a field trip
  3. Introducing your school or library
  4. Introducing your community or neighborhood  
  5. Introducing your country
  6. Creating a tour around the world
  7. Creating a virtual lesson for students
Read More

Immersive Stories for VR for the ThingLink Teacher Challenge

View channel & watch it grow!

We are pleased to begin curating our collection of immersive stories for viewing in a VR headset and happy to share this growing collection with our community.

We are happy to have received a whole batch of wonderful immersive stories at the end of this week! The goal of this challenge is to create an image that can be viewed easily in a VR headset, and to create a useful collection, we are sorting through them to make sure the tags work in the headset.

We created a handy chart to help participants understand the types of tags that work in a VR headset. View it here, or on the ThingLink Teacher Challenge page.

 

Read More

Using a 360 Image to Tell an Immersive Story for VR

pedagogy and ideas from the designer and facilitator of The ThingLink Teacher Challenge

The 5th Annual ThingLink Teacher Challenge is up and running! If you haven’t joined us yet, this is a great time to start. The early adopters are making their way through each of the published activities and we are excited to be collecting results to share.

We started our introduction to ThingLink’s 360 image editor with a familiar topic, telling a story. Walk into any classroom in the US, and you will find a teacher with a story map, storyboard, or planning guide, and an instructional method. We’ve learned that our students write better and they create better multimedia projects when they have a plan. For creating your first ThingLink, you will appreciate the plan to save you a lot of time, especially when recording.

Read More
1 2 3 56