Category : Education

Six Ways to Use ThingLink Hashtags in education

ThingLink has just launched a new feature: hashtags. Hashtags are handy searchable smart phrases that will make it easier to search and follow interesting content on ThingLink. In this post Susan Oxnevad writes about how hashtags can be used to accomplish some important classroom tasks, and how they can provide teachers and students with a way to easily organize ThingLink content within a safe learning environment.

Use ThingLink Hashtags to Easily Organize Content

1. Create Classroom Hashtags
Create a classroom hashtag and use it to help students quickly search for interactive images created by their own group. Keep it simple and slightly unique, try something like #Oxnevad101.

2. Create School Hashtags
If you are lucky enough to have a few colleagues in your school to explorie ThingLink EDU with, consider creating a school hashtag, like #BeyeSchool, to connect and collaborate. Teach students to use multiple hashtags to organize their searchable content.

3. Create Content Specific Hashtags
Create content specific hashtags to collaborate with members of the ThingLink EDU community. If you want to extend your reach, use the hashtags in your classroom Tweets too.

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4. Use ThingLink Hashtags to Address Internet Safety

Use avatars and pen names to remind students about Internet safety every time they create an interactive image. Students can create and use their own custom avatar icon to identify and organize their images, They can pop hashtags into the image description. They can create and use their own avatar pen name hashtags to protect their identities when online while providing them with opportunities to express themselves through their own personal ThingLink identity.

5. Use ThingLink Hashtags to Teach Students to Search
With the Internet in our pockets, searching has become an extremely important and useful skill to teach our students. Using hashtags can help students understand how the Internet is organized while allowing them to participate in the organizational process. Students can use multiple hashtags on every interactive image they create, but start simple and grow your hashtag network through experience.

6. Use ThingLink Hashtags to Collaborate & Connect
Teachers can invent and use ThingLink hashtags to collaborate with others and expand your personal learning network. Use hashtags to search and find content to target current initiatives and best practices. Here are a few ideas:
– Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking Skills
– Levels of Difficulty
– Multimedia Type
– Common Core State Standards

Try ThingLink Hashtags today!

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GUEST POST: Thinglink: A Tool for Journalists That Journalists Should Actually Use

By Stacey Decker

It’s a premise familiar to online journalists: There’s a new tool for creating interactives. It’s sleek and it has the potential to increase reader engagement. Fast forward 6 months and you can’t even remember your login information to get on the site. (Let’s hope you know your mother’s maiden name.)

Online tools are a lot like real tools that way—some just collect dust. In modern newsrooms, where journalists are strapped for time, new forms of storytelling need to have a high impact, but a low barrier to entry. ThingLink has those elements. For us at Education Week, it’s a useful resource … and one that we actually use.

Why We Use Thinglink

There are a few complex features of ThingLink that are especially impressive. The interface is extremely user-friendly. Thinglink is integrated with other platforms we already use, like YouTube and Soundcloud. Thinglink provides publishers with a lot of useful analytics about images and viewer behavior, including hovers and clicks. And the site has an engaged community.

But the real beauty of Thinglink is its simplicity. It’s easy to conceptualize a story that works in this format. There aren’t any prerequisites to begin using the tool, other than a good idea. And that good idea gives back. Embed a Thinglink on your site and you can take create an immersive experience on any page.

How We Use Thinglink

At Education Week, we have two main uses for Thinglink:

1. Narrative Storytelling

When using Thinglink to tell a story, we let our photography take the lead. The context, links, and additional material we layer on ties everything together. In this example (now with more than 4,000 views), images, text, and audio, converge to reveal the complexities of arming educators:

2. Infographics and Resource Multimedia Thinglink can be helpful to journalists looking for interesting ways to present data, information, and tips and tricks. In our most popular Thinglink to date (with almost 20,000 views), we used the tool to show our audience of educators how to teach students to vet research materials:

Three Tips for Journalists

If I’ve convinced you to try Thinglink, here’s some helpful advice:

1. Look at what other publishers are doing.

Plenty of newspapers—international, national, and local—are using Thinglink to show off their front pages, section fronts, and $126 billion dollar magazine covers. Others have gotten more inventive. The Washington Post partnered with Thinglink on their coverage of the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Guardian has used Thinglink to layer videos and archival material on top of infographics. Mashable’s used it to make a holiday gift guide. And Discovery Communications has worked with Thinglink to use the tool as a way to deliver advertising.

2. Look at what everybody else is doing.

Commercial outfits like Home Depot, State Farm, and Groupon are using Thinglink to share tips and promote products and services. Thinglink’s unaffiliated users are arguably the most innovative, using the medium to enhance posters, illustrations, maps, and historical photos.

3. Experiment and Edit.

The best way to get acquainted with Thinglink is to upload an image and start tagging. (If you want to do this in private, change your image visibility to “unlisted” until you’ve got your image the way you want it.) Look for additional media (videos, audio, photos, tweets, etc.) to make your images richer. But don’t overdo it; tags shouldn’t overwhelm your image. In the same vein, keep tag descriptions short. And think about the order of your tags. In the end, your Thinglink should service your reader.

Bonus Tip: Get the browser plugin. (It’s a huge time saver.)

I look forward to seeing more of the creative and complex ways newsrooms and publishers put this tool to work for them.


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Stacey Decker is Online News Editor at Education Week (www.edweek.org), America’s source for news and opinion on K-12 education issues.

 

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Join ThingLink at the Pivot Conference – NYC

We are pleased to invite you to attend Pivot 2013 on October 15th and 16th at The Altman Building in New York City and take advantage of a special discount courtesy of ThingLink. ThingLink is pleased to be a sponsor the event and serve as a Pivot preferred partner.

This year, Pivot will focus on The Total Digital Experience. As always host Brian Solis will guide us through the latest expression of the Social Revolution.  No longer are mastery of social marketing and communications enough to be a truly Social brand. Now, companies must achieve experiences that span mobile to online to real world in ways that reflect the complete relationship they have with their customers, influencers and employees.

Pivot 2013 will deliver in depth examinations of integrated experiences from some of the biggest brands on Earth, intense provocations where audience members debate the big ideas shaping Social alongside our speakers, transformation of literary and visual media as seen through the eyes of celebrated authors and TV stars, and much more.

We certainly hope that you can join us at Pivot, and to that end we’d like to offer you a 10% discount off of registration; this discount is good for you and for any of your colleagues who are able to attend along with you.

You can click here to register at this special price. Please contact Pivot’s VIP/Speaker Coordinator, Marni Edelhart, with any additional questions.

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ThingLink Mobile: Now with Image on Image

ThingLink Mobile, our iOS app, is constantly evolving and here’s a brand new feature for you. In addition to the ability to add video, text and @twitter IDs to your interactive images, we’ve added the ability to add image on image. Now you can tag a photo with images from your photo gallery.   This enables you to tell a deeper story through pictures like the one below, which was  created with an iPhone and ThingLink’s Mobile app.

Journalists, teachers, students, event bloggers and  iReporters can make full use of the new feature when creating interactive ThingLink images. Now you can tell a deeper story and capture fuller moments. Here’s my story about a Blackbird which had created a nest in an unusual place to feed her young ones.

HOW TO BUILD IT: Start out by taking or selecting the image on which you would like to overlay your other images. I had this photo with bikes on it so I started with that to tell my story.

photo 2

Tap anywhere on the image to add a tag and select which kind of tag you would like to make. We’re doing image on image so head over to your gallery by clicking on “Choose from gallery”.

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Pick the image you would like to add to the image as a tag.

image_3

 

As usual you can add a text tag.

image

 

Add a few more tags, either using text, video or images, and then you’re done.

image_5

 

The image is now shareable to social channels, and browsable either in the app or online at thinglink.com.

photo 1

How are you using ThingLink Mobile?

 

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Back to School – Essential ThingLink Resources for Teachers and Librarians

It’s back to school and time to share essential ThingLink Resources for teachers and librarians. The resources below contain scores of inspiring ideas from the large community teachers and librarians using ThingLink.

ThingLink ToolKit for Teachers from Susan Oxnevad offers innovative ideas and support for using interactive graphics for teaching and learning. There’s a valuable section on Common Core aligned activities and ideas.

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 72+ Interesting Ways to use ThingLink in the Classroom curated by Donna Baumbach contains a treasure trove of ideas by teachers and librarians for using ThingLink.

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A comprehensive List.ly of ThingLink resources by Lisa Johnson makes it  easy to tap into dozens of blog posts by educators on how to use ThingLink.

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Please share  these resources with your local community of teachers and librarians. And be sure to follow Susan, Donna and Lisa on ThingLink and add your ideas to these resources.

If you’re new to ThingLink, sign up for an educator account today.

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ThingLink – Popular Rich Media Tags You Can Add to Images

Drive convenience for customers and make content discoverable by adding ThingLink Rich Media Tags to your interactive images. Here’s a variety of popular apps that you can add to ThingLink images to feature content from: Etsy, Amazon, Instgram, Rdio, Bambuser, Scribd, Polldaddy, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Slideshare, ClickThrough, Spotify, eBay, LinkedIn, EventBrite, Google Maps, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Meetup, MailChimp, Wikpedia, Flickr and more.

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iReporting from Egypt and around your world – with ThingLink

Make ThingLink your solution for iReporting on the world around you. Whether you’re a journalist, a cause-related advocate or a student, images are an ideal way to tell a deeper, more engaging story about your world with video players, text, Twitter links, and more embedded right in your images. And you can do it with ThingLink’s web app and mobile app.

@EduardCousin and @HoqookEnglish publish daily updates in Twitter and Facebook on the situation in Egypt using ThingLink to host status links and related media coverage.

HoqookEnglish5:45am via Facebook
The news from #Egypt brought by Hoqook: Deadly clashes erupted in cities at the Suez Canal, in the Delta and in… fb.me/20riE2INm

Blogger @ryanburdick shares yummy restaurant reviews on ThingLink images.

The Press-Enterprise newspaper reported on the Perseid meteor shower with an annotated graphic that added a deeper dimension to a story that appeared in their online edition.

Adam Broitman reported on the Citibike program in NYC with a ThingLink image.

And using ThingLink’s mobile app, I filed my own report on a band performing in the Lexington Avenue/53rd Street Subway station in New York City.

Create iReporting images with ThingLink’s web and mobile app and share stories on the world around you.

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ThingLink Updates Editor with Search and Preview

Today we are happy to share a major improvement to the image editor on our web platform at ThingLink.com.Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 1.34.17 PM

You can now use our search functionality to find wonderful content for your images.

Your search will query content at Etsy, SoundCloud, Amazon, ThingLink pictures, YouTube and Vimeo.

Run your search, click on an item you want to feature in your image, save tag, and it’s added to your image with a preview so you can see what it looks like when hovered.

As always you can add a tag description of up to 1500 characters and change the icon to a standard one for free user accounts or a custom one for premium user accounts.

If you want your company’s products featured in ThingLink Search, please contact our business development team.

 

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ThingLink Launches ThingLink Mobile –Interactive Image Creation for iPhone and iPad

TL mobile logoTake picture + add videos + add text + share

ThingLink today launched its free mobile app, ThingLink Mobile, available for download via the iTunes store, ThingLink Mobile is the first iOS app to let users create interactive images with video players and text instantly embeddable into pictures taken with their camera. The free app for the iPhone and iPad creates interactive images that are shareable to Twitter and Facebook, and are designed to live within the platforms themselves.

 ThingLink’s web-based app has been used by major publishers and advertisers to increase engagement with their content. The Washington Post was the first news outlet to use a pre-release version of the ThingLink Mobile app, creating interactive images of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

tl_iPad_screen_A “ThingLink Mobile has one goal: to give more meaning to your camera images, allowing them to instantly come alive in new ways,” said CEO and founder of ThingLink, Ulla Engeström. “As a storytelling tool, ThingLink Mobile unleashes creative ways to capture deeper moments. It also brings the ability to microblog within images to anyone with a smartphone.”

Even in the beta version, users have found interesting uses for the app including: travel images with details of exotic meals, images of newlyweds with the first dance from the wedding embedded into an image, birthdays that come to life with video, and second hand sellers using videos and notes to illustrate the details of the items they’re retailing.

When users download ThingLink Mobile and sign up, they have a free channel for their images at ThingLink.com. Within ThingLink, users can add additional apps (tags) to their images with content from: SoundCloud, Spotify, Google Maps, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites. Those images are instantly shareable to Tumblr, Pinterest, Google!+, Facebook, Twitter, Edmodo and email.

ThingLink’s web-based platform has long been popular among advertisers and publishers for its ability to engage readers and encourage participation. ThingLink Mobile will bring that experience and ability to create compelling personal content to the individual user. People are invited to download the app to make their own interactive images.

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ThingLink and Washington Post partner for White House Correspondents Dinner

ThingLink partnered with The Washington Post for coverage of the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington D.C.

Post reporters used a pre-release version of ThingLink Mobile to enhance their live coverage of the event. Images appeared in social channels and “The Grid”, The Post’s live experience platform.

Read more at Journalism.co.uk

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