ThingLink is an amazing tool for teaching and learning that is now supported across platforms to provide teachers and students with a variety of flexible options to extend the learning beyond the classroom walls. The recent addition of the Android app, along with existing the iOS app and web based platform, completes the full circle of possibilities for creating interactive images.
Students can bring their mobile devices to a museum to capture life as it happens. Perhaps they have access to school owned iPads or Android tablets, or maybe they can can be allowed to bring their own iPhones or Android phones with them. Either way, they can document learning as they explore.
While working on the mobile app during the field trip phase of the learning experience, student work is stored locally on their own devices, which eliminates the need for an Internet connection. Students can take a photo and tag it with another photo, video, or text right on the spot. This type of active participation will help them focus on the learning instead of simply running around the museum from exhibit to exhibit as passive observers.
Explore this example of work that could be completed on the spot during a field trip visit.
When students return to school after a field trip, they can use the web based version of ThingLink on a school computer, or continue the work on a mobile device to put it all together and tell the story of the museum visit. They can add their images to a ThingLink Class Channel, organize their ideas and extend the learning through research. Perhaps they want to add a YouTube video, or link to a website for more information. They can use the wealth of resources available on the world wide web to dig deeper as they continue to make personal connections.
Students can finish their projects at home on whatever device is convenient and available. They can log in to ThingLink on their home computer or use their personal tablet or phone to put the finishing touches on their interactive images. They can explore and dig deeper to expand their knowledge beyond what they learned at the museum. They can compare their experience with the experiences of their peers by exploring the class channel dedicated to the field trip. They can comment on each other’s images to provide feedback to their classmates.
Explore this interactive image to discover the full circle of possibilities for teaching and learning with ThingLink.
ThingLink is a flexible tool for teaching and learning that can be used for a wide variety of purposes in education. At it’s most basic level, teachers and students can start with an image, define it through multimedia and pack it full of content to present knowledge and ideas. It’s a great tool for teachers at any level of tech integration because of it’s simple, flexible design.
Teachers don’t need a lot of tech expertise to create a ThingLink interactive image, they just need to know how to copy and paste. My advice to teachers just starting out with ThingLink is to spend about 15 minutes engaging in constructive play to create an interactive image about something familiar, like “How to Make Sun Tea” or “Favorite Recipes”. This allows users to experience the ease of use of the tool itself without getting distracted by the possibilities that exist for designing more powerful activities. After trying the tool, teachers will soon discover that the simplicity of ThingLink will allow them to keep the focus on teaching without having to struggle with learning how to use the technology.
ThingLink images are powered by ideas and intellect. Right out of the box, teachers can use the tool to provide students with differentiated learning experiences that support unique learning styles through the use of multimedia. As teachers become more comfortable with tech integration, this flexible tool will continue to support their needs. More experienced tech users can truly test their creativity and challenge themselves to think outside of the box when designing powerful learning experiences. For this reason, ThingLink is one of the most frequently used tools in my toolkit.
A flexible digital toolkit is essential for helping teachers design learning experiences that leverage the power of technology to transform learning. As I reflect on my own digital toolkit, I recognize that all of the tools I frequently use are blank canvasses powered by features I can use to design any type of learning experience I can imagine. The tools in my toolkit allow me to start with the learning goals and higher order thinking skills and make use of the technology to design learning experiences that provide students with opportunities to achieve those goals.
Please explore my web of flexible learning tools, powered by ThingLink.