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Thinglink users

Great news! ThingLink now supports a rich-media tag to embed a Google Doc right on an interactive graphic. Now it’s easier than ever to transform teaching and learning with just two tools, ThingLink EDU and Google Docs!

Two Flexible Tools

Keep it simple with just two tools. ThingLink and Google Docs both start as blank pages. Both tools are equipped with amazing features and capabilities to support endless possibilities. Combine the tools to design powerful learning experiences that maximize learning.  Here is a an example of a simple unit built with these two tools.

Simple Sample Unit – The Rainforest

I created this resource for driving a student centered guided learning experience  using ThingLink EDU and Google Docs. Explore this interactive image for an overview of how I an added a seamless layer of Google Docs to collect information and guide the learning.

  • Essential Questions – Document
  • Introduction – ThingLink for Video
  • Explore – ThingLink EDU
  • Exit Ticket – Google Form
  • Step-by-Step Guided Learning – Slides
  • In Box to Collect Links to Images – Form

 

Explore Simple Rainforest Unit

Quick Trick – Create an Interactive College

Use the built in tools in Google Slides to

  1. Find and collect images with the research tool.
  2. Annotate sources.
  3. Crop with Mask to create shapes.
  4. Create a complete collage.
  5. Take a snapshot and Save as .jpg

Use ThingLink edu to add layers of content to an image.

  1. Upload image to ThingLink _EDU
  2. Add rich media tags to present information
    1. Audio
    2. Video
    3. Images on images
    4. Google Docs

Final Thoughts

ThingLink EDU and Google Docs present powerful possibilities for redefining learning. If you are looking for more ways to become inspired, please joing members of the ThingLink EDU community as we share great uses through an Interactive Image Slam on September 14th or 16th.

Learn More and Sign Up

 

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We are pleased to announce a series of September webinars designed to help educators discover the power of using ThingLink EDU for teaching and learning. We hope you will join us for one or more of these free, online learning opportunities.

Descriptions

Build Your ThingLink Classroom: Tips & Tricks for Teachers

Are you making the most of the management features available in the ThingLink Classroom?

ThingLink EDU is packed full of features to help teachers efficiently manage a safe and secure online learning environment powered by ThingLink interactive images. This webinar is designed to provide busy teachers with an overview of the newest features and offer tips and tricks for seamlessly integrating ThingLink EDU into your own classroom. Spend less time figuring things out on your own and more time leveraging the power of ThingLink as a tool for teaching and learning.

In this webinar we explore ways to

  • Create student accounts and invite them to join multiple teachers’ classrooms.
  • Create and manage students groups for collaborative groupwork.
  • Use channels to create collections of images for sharing and publishing.
  • Create and use shared custom icons for a variety of useful purposes.
  • Take advantage of the full circle of flexible options across platforms and devices to support teaching and learning with ThingLink.

Of course, we will feature inspiring examples throughout the webinar and we will save plenty of time for questions from the audience. Sign up for Build Your ThingLink Classroom: Tips & Tricks for Teachers today!

Sign up:

September 9th at 8:00 PM EST

September 11th at 7:00 PM EDT

ThingLink Interactive Image Slam

ThingLink EDU is a powerful digital learning platform that provides users with the ability to turn any image or video into a multimedia-rich interactive learning tool. Members of our rapidly growing ThingLink Community of Educators have discovered ways to use the tools for a variety of innovative uses across all content areas and grade levels. To share inspiring examples, we are pleased to introduce a unique type of webinar, known as the ThingLink Interactive Image Slam.

ThingLink Interactive Images Slams provide real educators in our community with an opportunity to share, highlight and discuss great ThingLink interactive images or video they have created and used with students of all ages. Discover the endless creative possibilities for enriching students’ enthusiasm for learning like never before through a unique webinar highlighting the work of our users and learn about how you can have a chance to grab the spotlight by signing up for a ThingLink Interactive Image Slam today.

Sign up:

September 16th at 8:00 PM EDT

September 18th at 7:00 PM EDT

 

ThingLink for Powerful Professional Development

Are you looking for a way to increase audience engagement, maximize instructional time and improve the professional development sessions you facilitate?

ThingLink is an interactive image and video annotation tool that allows users to pack a lot of content into one small space, making it an excellent choice for use as an engaging resource to power professional development. The flexibility of ThingLink makes it appealing to a wide range of audience participants, since it can be used across content areas, grade levels and devices. Rich-media tag embedding combined with the ability to link to any content on the web allows presenters to design and facilitate interactive PD to meet the goals of any session.

Highlights of this webinar include

  • An brief overview of the SAMR model to help work with participants who are at different stages of tech integration.
  • Use of pre and post assessment tools to fine tune and evaluate instruction.
  • Use of ThingLink Interactive Video for self-paced learning, reteaching and challenge.
  • Use of rich-media tags and 3rd party web tools to promote active engagement throughout your session.
  • Examples of interactive images used to successfully facilitate PD.

Sign up:

September 23rd at 8:00 PM EDT

September 25th at 7:00 PM EDT

 

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Are you looking for a user friendly and flexible tool to help you easily create engaging multimedia rich content to redefine teaching and learning? Are you interested in using technology to meet the personal learning needs of the students in your classroom? We invite you to attend our free webinar and explore the powerful possibilities that exist with ThingLink EDU. 

ThingLink EDU is a digital tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image or video into a multimedia rich interactive learning tool. Start with an image or start with a video. Annotate it with audio, video, images and links to any content on the Internet with the click of a button. 

Please join us for a free webinar on August 18th at 4:00PM CST as we explore inspiring examples and easy-to-follow instructions to help you transform teaching and redefine learning with ThingLink. 

Sign up 




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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.


education-week-logo

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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Enjoy some Halloween ThingLinks that caught our eyes. A Happy Halloween to all!

 

 

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Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 11.30.52 AMThe Interactive Image Revolution – How Top Brands are Powering Engagement,” a report presented today at the Pivot Conference, features the first independent analysis of ThingLink interactive image performance and its use by major publishers and brands.

To obtain a specific sense of ThingLink’s impact on ad fundamentals, The Pivot Conference and ThingLink worked together during the summer of 2013 to study ThingLink programs of companies across four core categories: Editorial Web, Editorial Social, Brand Web and Brand Social. In each case, actual, live ThingLink implementations were examined. In each category, 15 ThingLink enabled images were studied.

The results of the study show a dramatic impact for ThingLink images as response generators. At a time when banner ad click rates subsist between .01% and .04%, depending on source, ThingLink delivered an average click rate of between 5.7% and 16%. Not only was the overall response rate breathtakingly high, the study indicated some clear reasons why.

According to Mike Edelhart, CEO of Pivot, who authored the report, “One of the reasons ThingLink’s information-embedding approach has power is because it transforms an image from a single object, clickable or not, into a cornucopia of information choices. This produces an engagement intensification that neither standard images nor content approaches can deliver.”

ThingLink content elements generated “hover” engagement at up to nearly 4X the level of views. This means a ThingLink image can generate four interactions from a single view. At the lowest level, ThingLink produced a 50% secondary engagement per view. Any one of these intensified interactions can be the trigger for a click.

“In short, the information-enabled image appears to be a more powerful tool for generating clicks than any other we have seen before,” said Edelhart.

The ThingLink study shows clearly that the more information options in an image – shown on the table as number of Tags – the higher the engagement intensification. That doesn’t necessarily lead directly to higher click rates, but it certainly increases the potential for maximization.

Another view of ThingLink’s power can be seen by diving into the performance of Groupon’s program in the summer of 2013. Across six different products, ThingLink produced a remarkable click rate of 16% and an intensification of 96%, which means that nearly all of those who viewed the images saw the additional content that ThingLink delivered. In essence, that is a fundamental doubling of engagement; each user sees both the image itself and at least one additional piece of content on each view. We feel it is this essential intensification that drives ThingLink’s high response rates.

In addition to studying how others use ThingLink, Pivot itself used the platform to enhance promotion and information delivery for the Conference.

“We addressed the challenge of bringing a star-studded preview video about Pivot to our home page without pushing other key content below the fold by embedded the video thumbnail into our home page header with ThingLink,” noted Edelhart.  “There was a 41% increase in new traffic to Pivot’s external marketing programs after creating a Thinglink button to promote the program within Pivot’s web header.”

Pivot Conference also used ThingLink to transform the images of Pivot’s speakers into information launch pads.  “With ThingLink we were able to bring web pages, social connections, bios, videos and other speaker background right into the pictures,” added Edelhart.  There was an increase in the average time on the speaker section of Pivot’s website from 3:07 to 4:04. Conference organizers also received a gush of pleasure from Pivot’s generally hard to please speakers to this implementation, as many asked to include additional content within their pictures on the site.

For more information visit ThingLink.com. For a copy of the report visit the Pivot Conference.

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ThingLink and Discovery Communications, the world’s #1 nonfiction media, have announced a partnership for deploying ThingLink-powered interactive images and display ads across the digital destinations for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and other networks in their portfolio.

To enhance the partnership, Discovery, ThingLink, and Flite announced an integration of ThingLink inside Flite’s Ad Studio. Flite publishers like Discovery, as well as advertisers, agencies and brands with ThingLink premium accounts, can now deploy ThingLink-powered rich media display ads for desktop and mobile through Flite’s ad server platform.

images

Discovery is driving digital advertising innovation by utilizing Thinglink’s interactive tagging capabilities to enhance their content and to deliver value for partners. By using custom-designed images, Discovery can tell more compelling creative stories that offer clients and brands the chance to integrate more seamlessly around sponsorship initiatives or custom-produced programs.

Key to their strategy is organically driving views and engagement beyond traditional advertising techniques through SEO and increased fan engagement that extends to social connections.  Discovery will strategically target these new rich media ads to compliment their image-based editorial content thereby creating a cohesive user experience that feels very integrated and blurs the line between content and traditional ad spaces.

ThingLink’s Premium platform enables publishers to serve 3rd party content over images. Publishers can use custom graphical icons on ThingLink images and build proprietary in-image applications for shopping, content marketing, and social connection. ThingLink’s real-time metrics allow for invaluable data collection with click-through-rates that continually outperform standards. ThingLink images are also viewable across social channels and web pages and shareable to social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.  Four of the top ten newspaper publishers and ten of the top fifty global brands use ThingLink for creating and sharing interactive images.  ThingLink publisher partners also include CBS Interactive and New York Magazine.

Flite empowers their publisher and brand clients to easily publish brand assets and messaging directly into their paid media. Flite has an expanding library of third party ad components, which allow clients to easily bring in content from providers such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and more. With the added integration of ThingLink, Flite continues to offer interactive functionality within display advertising for both clients and partners.

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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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urlWhen Twitter launched Twitter Cards last year, ThingLink was the first interactive image solution approved by Twitter. Thanks to you, we’ve expanded the possibilities for engagement on Twitter beyond even their expectations.

While Twitter continues to evolve and refine the Twitter Card program, the Player Card that enables ThingLink is being scaled back to focus on video and audio solutions only. As a result, ThingLink will transition to an interim Twitter Card.

Here’s how it works:  When you post a ThingLink image to Twitter, viewers on desktop and mobile devices will see the image with icons indicating interactivity just like before. Those icons will no longer be interactive inside Twitter.  A click on the image, title or the URL provided with the tweet will lead the viewer to the interactive image on the user’s channel at ThingLink.com.

Because a majority of viewers on Twitter click back to ThingLink anyway, we think this solution will advantage both viewers and brands sharing ThingLink images on Twitter.

The current Twitter Player Card will remain active until September 30 after which all ThingLink users will transition to the interim Twitter Card.

For more visual information, check our slideshare presentation about this transition.

In the coming months we will be working with Twitter to enable a new Twitter Card type that enables interactive functionality on Twitter and delivers a consistent performance on both web and mobile devices.

Twitter is also requesting feedback from ThingLink about the kinds of Card experiences our publishers want to see inside the Twitter channel. Please send us your feedback on how you would like ThingLink images to perform inside Twitter.

In the meanwhile, if you have any questions about ThingLink and Twitter,  please contact our COO Cyril Barrow.

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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”.

image_2

 

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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