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.
Which Side of the Coin are You On?
Content drives lesson plans. However, there is a craft to the creation of lessons. Teachers choose how best to teach content. Guiding questions are the starting point. How to achieve the path to which students are able to answer guiding questions is one approach to decide which of the three media types would best achieve it. There are two sides, like a coin, to which aThingLink media will be used to “package” a lesson plan or result in a student-created product.
When to ThingLink With 360
ThingLink 360 has its own unique two sides. Virtual reality can be used to take students to places where they can’t physically go, given a combination of interactives as video, images, and text, the experience can be much like a novel. The time spent in engagement can trigger imaginations to soar. A teacher can package a lesson with this intent. The teacher narrates the setting with content.
Flipping the coin, students are the creators. Students create their own stories, content related, with focus on ways to present their answers to guiding questions. They are the authors in charge of their own learning. Teachers establish the general guidelines for a product and students are responsible for the narration.
How do I ThingLink?
I teach computer classes in Middle School for grades six through eight. The majority of my lessons are connected to a content area such as Social Studies, Literature, or Science. There is a dual purpose: content and technology skills. There is communication with classroom teachers regarding content area, their expertise, and coordination of timing and effort.
In the example contained in this blog post, I decided to utilizeThingLink 360 to take students on a field trip to prep them for a presentation and live fish that is brought to our school. The presenters would speak about their research, history of the oyster industry, and I had an idea. Students could “see” where professional research was being conducted through the New Jersey Oyster Restoration Program. They could delve deeper, beyond the presentation, to learn more about Oyster Restoration, and create a timeline as a product. Thus, Oyster Restoration 360.
About the Author
Patricia Merlino is a middle school technology teacher at Assumption Regional Catholic School in New Jersey. She has been a highly active ThingLink Educator Trainer for many years, as a Digital Citizenship Certified Educator and a Symbaloo PD Pro.