THINGLINK WINS THE UNESCO ICT IN EDUCATION PRIZE WITH A VISION OF A GLOBAL VIRTUAL SCHOOL

This week started with some good news: ThingLink has been selected as one of the two winners of the 2018 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa-Al Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in Education. The Prize awards individuals and organizations that are carrying out outstanding projects leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities.

We would like to thank all our certified educators and ThingLink users that are constantly coming up with new ways of using ThingLink in the classroom and who have inspired their own community with innovative examples.  We are putting together a photo collage for the UNESCO award ceremony for March 12th, and would love to include photos from our users around the world! Please send yours to rachel@thinglink.com, and we will include it in the presentation!

Example: Teacher training bootcamp at the Florida M&A University. Photo by LMichelle Salvant

Example: ThingLink teacher training workshop at the Strawberry School in India. Photo: Yogesh S. Baheti

Example: 6th graders working on their ThingLink project at Joensuu Teacher Training School. Photo: Aleksi Komu

Founded in 2010 in Finland, ThingLink was the first technology company to introduce images with dynamic rich media tags that could be embedded and accessed across the web. ThingLink published its image editor in 2011, video editor in 2014, and 360-degree image editor in 2016.  This week, ThingLink introduced a new editor for adding points of information to 360 videos.

ThingLink editors have been used by over 6 million teachers, students and online publishers in 190 countries to document culture, nature, technology and students’ learning process. Use cases include virtual tours for language learning, technical education, cultural studies and workplace learning as well as adding text and voice notes to maps, historical images, photos from field trips and school projects. Over 30 million people interact and learn through ThingLink images and videos every month.

The UNESCO ICT in Education jury considered ThingLink as “visual learning technology that helps foster learning experiences for all, including learners with disabilities or limited ability for expression. In an increasingly digitalized world, ThingLink helps to build curriculum to develop the 21st century skills and competences. With the instantly growing community of users, ThingLink provides a new way for documenting cultural heritage using local languages, inviting teachers and students to connect to any place with their lesson plans.”

We have hundreds of examples of how ThingLink at schools can increase students’ ability to virtually visit real-world environments, and document learning using multiple forms of digital media. Using 360 images and videos enriched with information and audio feedback that support the student’s learning process is an efficient way to develop contextual understanding and empathy in places and situations that would normally be beyond our physical reach.

Another interesting aspect is looking at all the images, videos and lessons together. By documenting their local environment and knowledge in the cloud, teachers and students are at the same time building a global virtual learning environment. We believe that new image-based learning environments can greatly contribute to solving challenges in global education, such as the need for qualified teachers.

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