Category : New features

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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5 Enhancements to ThingLink 360

5 Enhancements to ThingLink 360

Since we released ThingLink 360 last year, our team has gathered tons of feedback from many user groups.  We’re excited to share 5 enhancements to ThingLink 360, based on your feedback.

We have more enhancements planned as ThingLink 360 continues to grow more powerful in 2018.  We take user requests very seriously, and they play a big role in what we create.  Feel free to drop us a note with requests for new features for ThingLink 360, and be sure to stay tuned to this blog for news as we release new features based on feedback from our community.

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How To Use Preloaded Icons in ThingLink 360/VR

At ThingLink we spend a lot of time working with educators and we collect valuable feedback about our tools along the way. One of the biggest requests about our 360/VR editor has been to add preloaded icons, similar to the feature that is available in our regular, “flat” image editor. We are pleased to introduce this new feature!

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Image of the Week: Bringing Media to a Graphic Organizer

Sometimes a movie clip, an image, or an audio track can explain a point or idea better than our words. Graphic Organizers, on paper, can be limiting in this regard. Our image of the week comes to us from a great ThingLink educator: Brandi Argentar.

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New feature alert: Filter your search!

Did you know that there are over 6,500,000 images, videos, and 360s on ThingLink? Not only is ThingLink the place to create interactive masterpieces, it’s also the place to find inspiration from others. Now, not only can you search our database of images, videos, and 360s, you can also filter your results to find exactly what you’re looking for! Use this feature when searching for that perfect content to remix.


How to filter

#1 Enter a search term

ThingLink users have made projects on everything from art history to zoology. Enter a search term in the box at the top of ThingLink.

#2 Choose media type

Now, with the new search filter, select the type of media you’re looking for. Use the check boxes for images, videos, 360 images, and 360 videos to determine your results.



Reasons to filter

#1 Remixing

When tagging 360 images, often the hardest step is the photography, or finding images to tag. Before creating your own images, use the search to see what other ThingLink users have already created. If a user marks their image as public, you will be able to use the remix function to copy their image into your account. Delete the previous person’s tags and get started on your own creation!

#2 Get the right inspiration

While the most popular ThingLink format is standard images, there are also thousands of videos and 360s already tagged. If you’re new to tagging videos and want some guidance, searching without a filter may leave the video results lost in the crowd. Filter to get exactly what you’re looking for the first time without too much sifting.


Now that you’re acquainted with the new search features, get searching and start tagging! If you want to learn more about our advanced features for join us for an upcoming webinar.

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Use the Teleport 360 Editor App on a Chromebook

Great news! Teachers and students can use the new Teleport Editor App on a Chromebook to create interactive 360 learning experiences. Now it’s easier than ever to create engaging 360/VR lessons, field trips and student projects with access to a library of pre-loaded 360 images. The Teleport Editor App for Android is available to download for free from Google Play with a ThingLink Premium Teacher subscription.

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New feature: Upload Your Own Sound Recordings (or other audio files) to ThingLink Images!

Starting today, ThingLink PRO and PREMIUM users can upload MP3 and M4A audio files directly into ThingLink tags. This means you have another cool way to make your images truly engaging with narration, interviews, nature sounds, music, or sound effects. The audio files will autoplay on mouseover.


 

How to create Audio Tags

Creating Audio Tags is as easy as creating your standard image tag. Click to create your tag, then in the tag editor, click the Upload Audio button. Select an MP3 or M4A file from your computer to upload and you’re ready to listen! Audio tags will autoplay when opened, so you can also add an image and text, and let the audio play in the background.

Ways to Use Audio Tags

Audio tags are great for adding narration, nature sounds, interviews, your own music, or editorial comments that give context or create a special ambiance for your image.

Here, an audio file from NASA takes this image from purely visual to a multi-sensory experience. The audio also increases the time the viewer spends on the tag as they listen to the clip instead of just glancing at the image.

In this 360 image, the creator narrates the text in each tag. Not only does this create a more rich experience, it results in a more accessible image that can be enjoyed by those who may not be able to read the text. For teachers, this is a great way to encourage your students to create in many mediums.

Try it Out

Ready to test it out? Here’s a project to help you get started with audio tags. Make sure that you have one of our paid plans to access this feature.

Introducing Your Class

In this project, we’ll be using ThingLink and audio tags to provide a brief introduction to your class.

To start, upload a background image that represents your subject. I’d just suggest an image of your classroom or school.

Now, record a few audio clips that will help give the space context. I suggest using Sound Recorder on a PC or Quicktime on a Mac. If you have an iPhone, you can use Voice Memos, and send them to your email.  Here are some prompts to help you come up with some audio clips:

  • Why did you get started in teaching?
  • Explain the space around you. What can we see in this image?
  • Where is this space located? If someone wanted to visit your school, how can they?
  • What do you teach? Tell us all about your subject.

Back on your image, click to add a new tag. In the icon selector choose the play button, audio symbol, or microphone so viewers receive a visual prompt to what they’re unlocking. Now, use the Upload Audio button to add one of your clips. If you want, add an image and text as well to give your audio a label.

If you’d like to add a sound you can’t record yourself, try searching freesound.org. They host thousands of audio clips sourced from members that you can download and add. Find anything from the wind in the trees, to a helicopter whirring, to the sound of a barbecue being opened.


Now that you’ve learned all about audio tags it’s time to get started! If you don’t yet have the feature you can purchase a plan that includes it here. If you want to learn more about how to use this and all our other features, schedule a demo with a ThingLink expert. Happy Tagging!

 

 

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ThingLink launches Virtual Reality Lessons App For Education

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We are excited to launch VR Lessons, our first virtual reality content app. The app is designed for elementary school students, their teachers and parents.

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What Would You Like Your Students to Explore via Virtual Reality?

Curiosity Rover Explores Mars

Would you like your students to explore Mars, visit historic places, or dive deep into the ocean? We have received many requests from educators with great ideas for interactive VR lessons, so we decided to invest in producing ready-made lessons ourselves. This means we will be shooting and licensing 360 images and videos for creating immersive learning experiences that will help students travel to places they can’t explore in the real world.

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ThingLink Brings Virtual Reality to the Classroom

Virtual Reality and 360 content is about to find its way into schools and classrooms with a new layer of interactivity! ThingLink is evolving from image and video annotation to 360 content, which gives educators a larger canvas to create virtual learning experiences.

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