Author Archives: Ulla

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
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ThingLink Expands to Building Future Schools with Finnish Education Experts

ThingLink has just announced a new service for educational institutions and governments on international markets.  Leaning on the Finnish education system and school culture, the new service focuses on holistic curriculum and school planning utilizing immersive learning technologies.

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ThingLink GDPR Compliance


The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in full effect as of May 25th, 2018. We at ThingLink have clarified our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to let you know about your rights under this new regulation. Please read and familiarize yourself with them, as you will need to accept them before you continue to use ThingLink.

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May 17th celebration: A Virtual Field Trip to Norway

To celebrate the Norwegian Constitution Day, we decided to send a special greeting to our dear Scandinavian neighbors who are almost as happy as the Finns.  With love, we put together this virtual 360 degree tour to the stunningly beautiful land of fjords and fells. The tour starts from Laedal, goes through the longest road tunnel to Bergen, then takes a ferry to North, and ends up at a Constitution Day celebration party after a quick visit to Oslo.

Now, the only thing missing from this tour are the people! Do you have a story or memory from Norway? Here is what you can do:

a) Open the voice recorder on your phone and record an audio clip telling a special memory or story from Norway 

b) Open the ThingLink editor, clone any image from this tour to your own account, and make your own version of the trip! Add audio clips, notes, music, photos, videos, or anything you like –and share it onwards!

If you don’t have a ThingLink account yet, check out our new Premium Teacher plan!

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New Deals on ThingLink & Ricoh Theta


We are happy to share that ThingLink users can now purchase Ricoh Theta cameras with a partner discount code that gives 15% off any new purchase on the Ricoh US website. This means $30 off on the Ricoh Theta SC, and $60 off on the new Ricoh Theta V.  

Individual teachers and schools can use ThingLink and Ricoh Theta 360 camera to:

  • Take 360 images with students during field trips
  • Upload 360 images from computer hard drive or tablet directly to ThingLink editor
  • Easily add notes, audio, closeup photos or videos to 360 images
  • Copy and edit thousands of 360 presentations and tours created by other teachers
  • Embed interactive 360 images on any website
  • Directly record narration to 360 images on iPads

Planning for the new school year? ThingLink’s new starter account for schools ($500) lets teachers try 360 photo editing at $1/user. Sign up your school today and get started with immersive storytelling on thinglink.com/edu!

 

 

 

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Upcoming: Five Major Product Updates

We have very exiting news: in the next couple of weeks ThingLink is launching:

  • a new Premium teacher plan
  • a new school package
  • a new student management interface
  • a new version of the image editor, and
  • a new mobile creation experience.

Here are the main highlights for each:

A new Premium Teacher plan: all features for one classroom

The new individual teacher plan includes all features such as 360 editing for one classroom (35 students) at $35 per year. The plan will be available for new signups already this week! Read more about who should sign up or transition to the new plan. 

 

A new school package

Our new school starter package at $500 includes 500 accounts for use by teachers or students. This means new teachers in a school can now try ThingLink at much lower price ($1 per user). The school plan is designed to grow throughout the adoption phase, with the option to purchase additional accounts in increments of 250, or professional development on demand.

A new student management interface

The new interface offers more flexible ways to manage students and groups for individual teacher and school accounts. For example, teachers and school admins can now easily add more students to their account and see how many students have signed up. The new interface is available for teachers on Wednesday, May 2nd. 

New ThingLink editor

This new streamlined editor supports flat and 360 images with the same feature set. It features a new selection of layout templates for different types of content, which makes the creation flow faster and easier. The new editor will be available to our beta users users in May and all users in June.

 

New mobile creation experience

In addition to a new look and feel, the mobile editor supports direct audio recording to camera images. The iPad version that will be in the App Store in May, will support  audio recording to 360 images as well!

 

This is a lot to digest, but we believe these new features, packages and improvements will make ThingLink the most flexible and affordable immersive storytelling tool to improve digital literacy skills.

In the next weeks we will be writing about each feature in more detail based on the questions we get. We would like to invite you to join the discussion about new features on the ThingLink Education group on Facebook!

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Immersive learning for higher education

The challenges and opportunities for new technology integration at a large college or university are different than at an elementary school. Schools are bigger, shared facilities are crowded, students are quick to learn new technologies on their own, and research plays a bigger role. After my recent visit to Clemson University, I started putting together a list of use cases and applications for immersive learning for higher education. This list is work in progress, so feel free to email comments or additional suggestions!

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Guess Where In The World Are You with ThingLink’s 360 Holiday Game!

Happy Holidays!

Perhaps the best gift of the season is to be able to enjoy spending time with family and friends. To help you enjoy this special time, we’ve created an interactive guessing game for the whole family to play together.

Guess What is a 360-degree guessing game where players need to determine where they are, or what they see, within 30 seconds. In this version of the game, you are guessing where in the world are you. Try it with friends and family, and see how many cities each of you gets right!

Guess What

If you happened to get a 360 camera from Santa Claus and you are looking for a great way to use it, we have a little activity for you:  You can build your own 360 guessing game. All you need to do is put together a channel of 360 images on ThingLink, and email it to us at social@thinglink.com. We will feature the best guessing games from around the world on our blog and newsletter!

At ThingLink, we are big fans of the idea that immersive storytelling brings people together. We think you will agree when you explore Guess What.

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360 storytelling in early childhood education: a case example from the Kellarpelto preschool in Finland

The students of the Kellarpelto preschool in Eastern Finland make regular visits to a forest nearby. Inspired by another project called “Teacher’s Forest” at the University of Eastern Finland, some of the teachers at the Kellarpelto preschool had decided to try creating 360 images in a group of 13 students between ages 10 months and 2 years.


During the time we have developed the new 360 editor, I had not heard of use cases in early education, so I was thrilled to get an opportunity to connect with teacher Kati Roivio from the Kellarpelto preschool to learn more about their project. Here is a summary of our discussion:

U: What made you try 360 images instead of regular images?
K: Looking at regular images from our walks and activities is something that children can easily do on the iPad screen, but 360 images gave us a new kind of opportunity to go back in the forest, move there “with the finger” and touch the “spots” on the screen to hear sounds. Images became alive.

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ThingLink joins Active Learning Alliance to develop future learning environments

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Active Learning Alliance is a group of companies aiming to develop new kinds of holistic learning solutions for educational institutions in change. The members of the alliance work together to create customized services combining physical space, virtual space, as well as supporting technologies and materials in an environment that encourages creative problem solving and collaboration. Founders of Active Learning Alliance include Samsung Electronics, Isku Interior Oy, and Edutukku Oy. Product and service providers include Qroom Oy, Seppo.io, ThingLink, Treston, eOppi, Samsung Service and Beiz.

Key to collaboration is the concept of a “Learning Lab”, a physical space where member companies develop and test new services for active learning. In 2016 Active Learning Alliance is planning to open and operate a Learning Lab in seven cities in Finland: Espoo, Lahti, Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Oulu. Located at the facilities of Isku Interiors, Learning Labs also work as meeting, conference and co-working spaces for the member organisations and their clients.

The same way learners in today’s schools construct knowledge for themselves, and combine different kinds of resources from different sources, developers of learning solutions also need to collaborate and learn from each other. We are inspired to be a member of the Active Learning Alliance and look forward to creating engaging demos about new digital learning environments in 2016!

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More information: education@thinglink.com

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