Category : EDU Guest Post

Developing Digital Literacy with ThingLink: Aligning to Common Core Standards

The American Library Association’s digital-literacy task force defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”  Digital literacy is an important skill that incorporates many Common Core Standards. As an Elementary Technology Teacher, I am always looking for ways to creatively incorporate content standards and digital literacy into my lessons.  Immersive stories engage students in learning content and improve students skills in digital literacy, reading informational text, and writing. Creating virtual tours with ThingLink is an ideal medium for developing digital literacy skills and addressing Common Core reading and writing standards.

The specific digital literacy and communication standards I planned this unit to address were from Common Core and the ISTE standards for students: 

Preparing for the Project

Fourth graders study Colorado history in their social studies classes. As an extension of these studies, students in my technology classes will explore a ThingLink I created on Leadville (below) in order to understand how Leadville (and much of Colorado) has changed over time. This ThingLink also serves as a model for the projects students will create later in the unit. I have decided to use the Icons of Depth and Complexity as a tool to ask students to reflect as they explore the tour I created and to help students to identify important historical points as they create their own tours. This will help students go beyond surface level understanding and think more critically. As I created my ThingLink tour, I used a story map to help organize my thinking.

Student Project

After exploring and discussing the Leadville ThingLink 360°, I plan to have students select a city or town in Colorado to research. They will research their selected city or town, evaluating many digital resources and integrating information from multiple sources in order to write about how their town has changed over time. Students will use primary source photos as the basis for their analysis of how their town has changed over time. Students will use the same story map template as they plan their ThingLink.

The research phase of this project addresses the following standards:

Specifically, students will be asked to examine primary source photos to infer details about various time periods. They will then be asked to sequence their photos to see trends and understand how their city or town had changed over time. I am excited to see how using these additional lenses helps students to think critically as they create their own ThingLink tour of a Colorado town.

To create their ThingLink, students will either use Google Street View to find images or take their own 360 photos of their town using the Ricoh Theta cameras we were able to purchase through grants from Donors Choose, CenturyLink and Innovative Education Colorado. After uploading their 360° image to ThingLink, students will create tags with primary source images of their town in different decades.  With the recent update to ThingLink students are now able to record their own audio. Students will create audio narration to include in their virtual tours. Creating their own project addresses additional writing and speaking standards.

In addition to the Common Core reading, writing, and speaking standards, this project also addressed the Colorado State Standards for History and 21st Century Skills and Readiness.

As a teacher, I love tools that I can use to create interactive lessons for students and also allow students to create their own content. ThingLink is one of my favorite tools for this type of thinking. I’ve used ThingLink with third grade students as they explore Colorado habitats and life zones and with fifth grade as students study the human body. ThingLink is amazing for helping students to explore time and place as they develop reading, writing, and speaking skills needed by Common Core Standards.

About the Author

Michelle Eckstein, Elementary Technology Teacher | Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, Colorado

michelle eckstein certified educator

Michelle Eckstein is a ThingLink Certified Educator and Elementary Technology Teacher at Peak to Peak Charter Schoo, in Lafayette, Colorado. She has been in teaching elementary schools for over 10 years and has a Masters in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut and endorsements in elementary education, gifted education, and instructional technology.  Michelle loves seeing students authentically engaged when they are creating with technology.

You can connect with Michelle on:

 

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An Immersive Approach to Learning About Medieval Allegories with ThingLink 360/VR

by Licia Landi

Italian ThingLink Certified Educator Licia Landi has created a ThingLink 360 tour to help her 10th-grade students develop a new approach to Medieval allegories by actively engaging them in the learning process through immersive storytelling. Explore this interactive 360 image and be sure to click the book icon to learn more about the learning goals for this project.

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360/VR Tour of Colorado Life Zones using ThingLink

by Michelle Eckstein

Through project-based learning, students used 360 cameras, ThingLink 360/VR and a variety of multimedia tools to create virtual reality tours of Colorado. Students built knowledge by actively exploring actual ecosystems and discovering the landforms, animals, and plants that live in the -ecosystem. They then used ThingLink 360/VR to show what they had learned. ThingLink 360/VR was the perfect tool for both delivering content and having students show what they had learned.

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ThingLink, Meet Ourboox!

ThingLink + Pirboox
by Mel Rosenberg, Guest Author

Last July I met Ulla Engeström, CEO and co-founder of ThingLink, at a conference in Portugal. I had the best introduction to ThingLink possible! As co-founder of Ourboox, a simple platform for creating and sharing interactive digital picture books, the first thing that crossed my mind was, well, crossing platforms. In other words, was it possible to embed a ThingLink scene in one of our e-books? On the spot, we began to create an e-book together on the Ourboox platform.

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Connect YOUR Experiences with the Curriculum Using ThingLink 360/VR

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By Christine Danhoff

Building Relationships

How many times do you reference or share your personal experiences with your students? If you answered quite frequently, then you’ll find creating with ThingLink 360/VR will help your students not only connect with YOU, but also with the topics you are teaching about.

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Future Technologies Are Creating A Better Age of Learning

This piece was originally published on hundred.org by Josephine Lister, editor at HunDred.org. We appreciate the opportunity to share this post with our readers.
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3 Ways to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To reflect on the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King, we’ve published 3 ways to use ThingLink to power thoughtful learning. We hope these ideas inspire you to create your own ThingLinks and we encourage you to submit them for a chance to select a 360 image for our stunning library of images.

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An Innovative Idea:  Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Come Together for a Guided Tour with ThingLink!

by Deb Norton

If you are an innovator such as myself, you might like to try new apps and experiment with virtual reality, such as ThingLink 360°/ VR and also with augmented reality such as a 3D moving and talking avatar.  The combination of virtual reality and augmented reality in one lesson makes for a really impressive and intriguing experience.

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Orientation with ThingLink 360/VR

 

by Adriane Ellis

Using ThingLink 360 to Create a Tour of our Library

We have been in the process of turning our library into a Learning Commons. This process has been 3 years in the making and we are super proud of the progress. Unfortunately, I am not always able to reach all my parents and community through open houses and parent meetings. The library often gets overlooked. I created this tour to give future and current students and parents, as well as teachers and community members, an inside look into the amazing things we have going on in our Learning Commons Space.

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15+ Great Ways to Embrace 360/VR In Education

One of the highlights of 2017 at ThingLink has been in working with amazingly creative and talented educators to share stories about great ways to leverage the power of interactive 360/VR. On this final Friday of the year, we’ve rounded up 15 great ways to embrace 360/VR in education. Many thanks to our busy ThingLink Certified Educators for taking the time to thoughtfully reflect on their teaching practices through blogging and share their wisdom with our community!

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