ISTE 2019: ThingLink announces major accessibility update with Immersive Reader integration

Most ThingLink images and videos include short text descriptions that give context to the visual experience and help the viewer understand what they are looking at. At ISTE 2019 we are launching an integration with Microsoft’s Immersive Reader, which means all text descriptions, lessons, virtual tours, infographics, and videos created with ThingLink’s new editor now come with an integrated reading tool and automatic language translation capability.

Here are six examples of how this can support educators and learners in classrooms and at workplaces:

1. Educational images, virtual tours, and other visual learning materials with text descriptions are accessible in Immersive Reader. This helps learners with an impaired ability to read or comprehend written words or grammar structure.

 Example 1 Reading tool 

2. Visual learning materials such as 360 degree tours are instantly available in multiple languages. The same lesson materials can be used to include and engage learners from different language backgrounds.

Example 2- Wudang mountains 360 lesson

3. Students can express themselves and work on assignments in multiple languages. This supports engagement and motivation in a situation where teacher and student do not speak the same language.

Example 3- Student presentation

4. Learning materials in any subject can be repurposed for language learning. This supports cross-disciplinary and collaborative teaching practices, as well as learning language in a familiar, meaningful context.

Example 4- Rotunda art and language lesson

5. Teachers in different countries can share lesson plans and learning materials. This creates a new kind of foundation for global, professional collaboration.

Example 5 Teacher community and PD

6. Students around the world can collaborate on assignments in their own native language.This helps build global capabilities and understanding of different cultures.

Example 6 Plastic pollution report field trip

If you are at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia, come and say hello to the ThingLink team at the Microsoft booth #2900 and learn about the latest Immersive Reader integration and direct sharing to Teams assignments!

 

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7 updates to ThingLink editor: text labels, simplified tag selector, radar, and more!

 We are very excited to share seven feature updates to the new editor:
1. Support for text labels (size limit 140 symbols)
 Short text labels are a great way to guide attention to details, introduce new vocabulary, or help the viewer understand what they are looking at.
This is a photo of the new text label
2. All custom fields are empty by default
No more Niagara Falls! The tag preview starts from an empty canvas. Just add your text, title, link or photos!
3. Tag shape automatically adjusts to your content. See examples below:
+ If you only have three or fewer lines of text, it will align at the middle of the tag:
+ If you have more then three lines, the text will align to the left:
+ Same alignment when you upload an image:
 
+ Without title and link, text shows under the image
+  Images in a tag that have text on the right side will open in full when you click them. Click again and you see the text.
  
4. Support for markdown that unlocks bold and italic in tag text
Use asterisks for *bold* text, underscores for__italics_.
 
5. New look and behavior for the transition tag 
The new version has a line underneath the icon and it blinks on hover. Clicking transitions the viewer to the next scene.  Note: Transition does not anymore have a label so that we can differentiate it from the new text label.
6. Tour has a default BACK button for easier navigation 
The button appears automatically in the upper left corner of each image or video.
7. A Radar view for 360 images and videos 
The packman looking icon in the upper right corner is a radar that shows your position (yellow dot) and viewing range. This helps you get an idea of the number and location of hotspots in a scene.
We hope you like these updates — we will be sharing more exciting product news next week from ISTE, Philadelphia!
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How to Increase Your Virtual Instruction Time Without Putting in More Hours

360-degree images and videos can help students develop understanding of real-world environments outside their classroom, but trying to successfully setup twenty-five headsets for a shared VR experience is not easy. For a while, we have been thinking of an alternative solution, based on the following three assumptions:

  1. A learner benefits from an expert introduction: a teacher guiding a VR tour helps a student pay attention to relevant things.
  2. Shared VR does not have to be live VR. Asynchronous viewing is improves access and flexibility.
  3. Students should be able to revisit the experience and explore at their own pace.

When Google launched Expeditions in 2015, ThingLink team started getting two kinds of emails from teachers. Most wanted to know if we could support 360 image annotation so that teachers could create their own expeditions and tours together with students. Shortly after, in May 2016, we launched our 360 image editor.

The second question concerned the ability to guide the tour to make sure students would pay attention to things that were relevant for the lesson. This one was tricky, because we did not think it was conceptually right to replicate the traditional classroom experience in VR.

In the traditional setup, a teacher stands in front of the classroom, and students are trying to get what the teacher says and means. It’s the same story, speed, and highlights for everyone, no matter if you are a fast or a slow learner, or if you speak the language or not.

Now, if you keep this setup and just put VR headsets on all the students, not much changes, except:

– You will need a lot of headsets, a budget to cover them, and a space to store them.

– Getting students to open the right app from the phone settings does not go smoothly. This eats time from instruction.

– Not all the devices will work properly. Not all the kids are patient.

– Some kids will stand up and bump into each other.

– It is harder for the students to hear the teacher wearing a headset.

Nevertheless, 360 viewing is a wonderful way to extend the boundaries of the classroom, but how to do that without complicating the logistics during instruction time? How can students get more quality time with their teacher in both the virtual and the physical learning space?

A narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots

The solution we came up with lets anyone record their introduction to a topic and save it in the background of a virtual tour. This also includes being able to define a sequence for informational hotspots that matches with the narration and guides viewers’ attention during a tour.

This new format came from the marriage of two existing ThingLink editor features: background audio and video editing. For lack of a better term, we will refer to it as a narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots.

Physical instruction time vs. virtual instruction time

Let’s say you have prepared a unit introduction of ancient Egypt, and the total physical instruction time for this one-time orientation in the classroom would be about 20 minutes.

Now, if you record the introduction and add it in the background of selected 360 images from Egypt, you as an educator have created yourself a presence in the cloud. From now on, views of this narrated VR experience by students will increase your virtual instruction time. Let’s continue the thought experiment and say all the students view your introduction at least once, and half of the students want to revisit the introduction from home as they are writing a related essay. In total, the virtual introduction is viewed 60 times each year (60 x 20min). This adds up to a total of 20 hours of virtual instruction time per year for this specific class and unit about ancient Egypt.

 

The introduction that was previously available for students only once in a certain physical space is now available and accessible to students any time. The teacher does not have to stress about giving the introduction on the spots while helping students to set up their headsets. Instead, this time can be saved for individual and group discussions.

Accessibility, flexibility, and cost savings

To sum up, a narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots is an asynchronous shared VR experience that benefits teachers, students, and schools in three essential ways:

1.It takes learning out of the classroom, but keeps the teachers guiding their students. Just like in any other environment, teachers help students to pay attention to the things that are relevant to their learning process. This can include introducing key concepts, giving general instructions for viewing, or inviting the classroom to think about certain questions as they explore the tour.

2.Narrated VR tours increase accessibility and flexibility in learning. A recorded VR introduction can be explored at any time, on any device, and from any location. This leaves more time for group and individual discussions.

3.Viewing VR tours in small groups or individually saves money: Not every student needs their own headset. Headsets can be kept clean and shared with multiple students. This makes immersive learning experiences possible for schools with smaller budgets.

5 steps for creating your own narrated VR tour with sequential hotspots

1. Upload a 360 image to ThingLink or select one from ThingLink image library

2. Record your introduction using a voice memo app on mobile or desktop

3. Open ThingLink editor and add the voice memo file (mp3, m4a) as a background audio to your image

4. Click “Play” to listen to your audio in the background and start adding informational hotspots

5. Adjust duration for tags, when you are done, click Save and share via LMS or link.

We look forward to seeing your work so please keep sharing projects, ideas or comments to ThingLink Education Facebook group or ThingLink Education on Twitter!

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THINGLINK RELEASES FREE 360 IMAGES TO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES AND INVITES TEACHERS TO CREATE LESSONS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

A GLOBAL TEACHER CHALLENGE

ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2019 focuses on developing digital storytelling skills in the context of cultural heritage and sustainable development. We invite teachers from different countries and regions to include virtual field trips in lesson plans, and to create new immersive learning experiences in multiple languages.  

A FREE 360 IMAGE LIBRARY

Appreciation of different cultures and the legacy of past generations often starts from a personal experience. This is why we have put together a collection of professional 360 images of some of the most prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Viewing these images on computers, mobile devices, or mobile VR headsets does not require a ThingLink account. In addition, all images are available for reuse and editing under the free ThingLink Teacher account.  They can be used individually for specific lessons, or combined into a virtual tour.

CULTURAL SITES

Ancient building complex in the Wudang Mountains, China

Nubian Pyramids, Meroë, Sudan

Abu Simbel, the small temple of Nefertari

Central Library (UNAM), Mexico

Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley, Armenia

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Luxor Temple, Egypt

Ad Deir Monastery, Petra, Jordania

Forum of Cesar, Rome, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Old Havana, Cuba

Acik Saray, Gulsehir, Turkey

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Lake Geneva, France

Monasterio del Escorial, Madrid, Spain

Vatican City

Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal

Historic Town of Gran-Bassam, Cote D’Ivoire, Africa

Fujian Tulou buildings, China

Pre-Saharan habitat Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

The Meidan Emam, Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, Esfahan, Iran

Meteora Varlaam Monastery Steps, Greece

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahanm, Iran

 

NATURAL SITES

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

Yosemite National Park, USA

Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Turkey

Nærøyfjord, Norway

Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar

Black Lake in Durmitor National Park, Republic of Montenegro

Sagarmathan National Park, Nepal

Stirling Waterfalls at Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand

Laguna Llanganuco, Huascarán National Park, Peru

Lagoons of New Caledonia, France

Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

Canaima National Park, Venezuela, Sororo Pan Mountain

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Central Amazon Conservation Complex, Brazil

Okawango Delta Botswana

 

HOW TO ADD THESE IMAGES TO YOUR OWN THINGLINK ACCOUNT

If you are new to ThingLink, here is how to get access to the images listed above:

  1. Register for a free ThingLink Teacher account at thinglink.com
  2. Go to the Explore tab.
  3. Choose any image in the featured images and click “add to my account”. Now this image is copied to your account.
  4. Create a lesson or a virtual audio tour by editing the image and adding text, photos, videos, or audio recording.
  5. Use the Tour Creator tag for creating transitions from one image to another
  6. Share your image to ThingLink Education group on Facebook or on Twitter and tag it with @unesco #worldheritage!

You are also warmly welcome to use these images in an existing educational program, course, workshop, or event. To discuss other partnership opportunities, please contact us at education@thinglink.com!

More information: A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. ThingLink won the 2018 UNESCO ICT in Education Prize.

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MOPIC VIRTUAL MUSEUM PROJECT BRINGS HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS TO LIFE

An interview with ThingLink Certified Educator Karsten Steiner, a passionate iPadagog and music teacher from Åland Islands and the author of “Motion pictures at an exhibition MoPic” on iBook.


“As a music teacher I’ve been inspired by Modest Mussorgsky’s famous piece “Pictures at an Exhibition” in which he describes his friend’s paintings in a musical way. This gave me the idea to contact my colleagues in different countries and create a virtual museum that gave old pictures a new life, with help of film, theatre, new art and digital technologies.”

What is the Mopic project?

MOPIC is a digital history museum for students, made by students. It was done as a two-year ERASMUS project in collaboration between four countries: Lithuania, Catalonia (Spain), England and the Åland Island (Finland). During the two years, each country organized a one-week long creative workshop, the results of which were documented for the virtual museum. The students from the participating countries were between the age of thirteen and sixteen, 8th and 9th grade. Altogether, the project involved directly and indirectly over 1,000 people.

Together with my colleagues, we organized the project into six phases:

1: TEST RUN WITH TEACHERS (CRITICAL)

In the beginning of the project eight teachers came together for a week to think about the learning goals and desired end results for the project.

2: FINDING HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS

Next step for each student group was to discover three interesting local historical projects and the stories behind them. For each project, students had to find images, photographs or archeological materials. These pictures were the start for three virtual  project rooms in each countrys’ exhibition space. To keep all materials in one place the groups used Padlet.

3: ART WORKSHOP IN ÅLAND

The historical pictures inspired the first workshop in Åland, during which  students they learned

different ways and techniques to create new art based on the local stories.

4: MUSIC WORKSHOP IN CATALONIA

This workshop gave students an opportunity to interpret the collected materials with music using creative instruments like water bottles, Makey Makey kits and GarageBand.

5: THEATRE WORKSHOP IN LITHUANIA

Here, students chose a photograph that they wanted to bring to life by acting in front of a green screen. Students learned to design and sew their own costumes and apply theatre makeup to finalize their historical character.

After this workshop all countries had the needed materials for their own virtual museum room. The tools for organizing the different tasks and sharing the materials included Trello, Dropbox, and Google drive. The students communicated with each other using Facebook groups and Flipgrid videos. The virtual museum was created with ThingLink.

6: VIRTUAL TOUR CREATION WORKSHOP IN ENGLAND

Finally, each of the country teams collected their materials from the previous workshops and combined them into a 360 degree virtual experience using ThingLink. The local stories came together in the MOPIC exhibition that gave the audience an option to use VR headsets and walk through the museum experience in each country.

What kind of learning goals did you set for the project?

As much as the end result, we were interested in the journey leading to it, and getting answer to questions like:

  • What did the students want to learn about their own local history?
  • What can historical photos tell us about our present?
  • How can we use our knowledge about history to build something new?

These questions opened up great opportunities for students to learn about:

  • Research methods for making art inspired by different materials and role models
  • Creative expression in making music, acting, masking, and costume design
  • Use of digital tools for filming, interviewing, audio recording and green screen
  • Visit other countries and learn about their culture
  • Communicate in English, socialize and have fun together

What is the value of the 360 degree presentation of project results?

The additional value of 360 viewing is the experience of being inside the virtual museum world and to be able to focus and walk around without distractions. For students, it also gives a new kind of opportunity to be an active part of the production and the whole educational process. Both students and teachers got an opportunity to extend their creativity, social and digital skills.

What comes next?

I am very grateful for being able to bring so many different professionals together with the students and everyone was open to  learn from each other! The students feel very proud about the outcome of the project and many of them got unforgettable experiences and friends for life.

Going forward, I hope that Mopic can be an example for learning and collaborating in multi-cultural environments, and that in the future I will have the possibility to work with more schools from different countries. In fact, I would like to invite any school, no matter what grade or level to try this out! I’m welcoming every new idea with open arms, please feel free to contact me at karstensteiner@me.com!

 

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THINGLINK WINS THE UNESCO ICT IN EDUCATION PRIZE WITH A VISION OF A GLOBAL VIRTUAL SCHOOL

This week started with some good news: ThingLink has been selected as one of the two winners of the 2018 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa-Al Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in Education. The Prize awards individuals and organizations that are carrying out outstanding projects leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities.

We would like to thank all our certified educators and ThingLink users that are constantly coming up with new ways of using ThingLink in the classroom and who have inspired their own community with innovative examples.  We are putting together a photo collage for the UNESCO award ceremony for March 12th, and would love to include photos from our users around the world! Please send yours to rachel@thinglink.com, and we will include it in the presentation!

Example: Teacher training bootcamp at the Florida M&A University. Photo by LMichelle Salvant

Example: ThingLink teacher training workshop at the Strawberry School in India. Photo: Yogesh S. Baheti

Example: 6th graders working on their ThingLink project at Joensuu Teacher Training School. Photo: Aleksi Komu

Founded in 2010 in Finland, ThingLink was the first technology company to introduce images with dynamic rich media tags that could be embedded and accessed across the web. ThingLink published its image editor in 2011, video editor in 2014, and 360-degree image editor in 2016.  This week, ThingLink introduced a new editor for adding points of information to 360 videos.

ThingLink editors have been used by over 6 million teachers, students and online publishers in 190 countries to document culture, nature, technology and students’ learning process. Use cases include virtual tours for language learning, technical education, cultural studies and workplace learning as well as adding text and voice notes to maps, historical images, photos from field trips and school projects. Over 30 million people interact and learn through ThingLink images and videos every month.

The UNESCO ICT in Education jury considered ThingLink as “visual learning technology that helps foster learning experiences for all, including learners with disabilities or limited ability for expression. In an increasingly digitalized world, ThingLink helps to build curriculum to develop the 21st century skills and competences. With the instantly growing community of users, ThingLink provides a new way for documenting cultural heritage using local languages, inviting teachers and students to connect to any place with their lesson plans.”

We have hundreds of examples of how ThingLink at schools can increase students’ ability to virtually visit real-world environments, and document learning using multiple forms of digital media. Using 360 images and videos enriched with information and audio feedback that support the student’s learning process is an efficient way to develop contextual understanding and empathy in places and situations that would normally be beyond our physical reach.

Another interesting aspect is looking at all the images, videos and lessons together. By documenting their local environment and knowledge in the cloud, teachers and students are at the same time building a global virtual learning environment. We believe that new image-based learning environments can greatly contribute to solving challenges in global education, such as the need for qualified teachers.

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ThingLink Brings Virtual Tour Creation to Microsoft Teams

This year started with great product updates and partner news. Last week at BETT London we announced an integration with Microsoft Teams. This means users of Microsoft Office 365 software are now able to create and view interactive images, videos and 360-degree virtual tours in the Microsoft Teams environment.

ThingLink Virtual Tour Creator in MS Teams

A virtual tour is the slideshow of tomorrow

Everyone today knows how to create a slideshow, and soon every student will know how to create a virtual tour. Similar to a slideshow, a virtual tour is a tool for documentation, storytelling, self-expression and collaboration.

“Immersive and 360-degree experiences have the potential to greatly improve learning outcomes because they help students process information faster and maintain deeper engagement in the curriculum,” said Dan Ayoub, General Manager for Mixed Reality Education at Microsoft Corp. “By bringing ThingLink’s technology into collaborative platforms like Teams and eventually into their assignments process, educators will have an unmatched set of digital storytelling tools to inspire great discussion and creativity in their classrooms.”

Below are more details about the integration!

Interactive images in MS Teams

ThingLink’s editor in MS Teams works the same way as on ThingLink.com. Educators and students can easily enhance images and videos with points of interest containing text, audio, video, and links. Here is an example of adding a link to Wikipedia.

Sharing thinglinks to Teams conversation

Interactive images and virtual tours can be created directly in Microsoft Teams, and they can be shared to Teams conversations. From ThingLink’s sharing tab, just copy a Teams deep link and paste it to Teams conversations.

Teachers can create engaging learning materials for students

ThingLink is especially useful in the education space because it lets teachers build interactive, visual learning experiences that are accessible in the cloud. These multimedia presentations can be most helpful to develop vocabulary and contextual understanding in technical education, science and social studies. The best is teachers can search and modify existing lessons for their own use!

Students can document their learning and practice media literacy with ThingLink

Students from elementary school to college can use ThingLink to document their learning with interactive maps, infographics, videos, presentations and virtual 360-degree tours. Here is an example of an interactive video that contains how-to instructions for creating animations using basic shapes in PowerPoint. Going forward, students’ ThingLink assignments can be evaluated using the new Teams grading tools!

Microsoft Office 365 users can get a free 14-day access to ThingLink’s Premium teacher via the Microsoft AppSource marketplace. Sharing ThingLink images is supported in Microsoft Teams and OneNote. Editing is supported in Microsoft Teams. New uploaded images and videos from Office 365 users are saved in Azure. We can’t wait for you to try the new integration and let us know how it works for you! If you need any help in activating ThingLink for your school or district, please contact us at education@thinglink.com!

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ThingLink’s New Tour Creator Supports Multiple Forms of Interaction and Media

Thousands of educators use ThingLink for creating visual learning materials, virtual lessons, and interactive presentations that may include several types of media. This is why many have requested the option to create transitions from a regular 2D image (for example, a floor plan) to a 360 image (a 360 photo of a classroom) and back.

We are excited to share that this is now possible! Here is a brief summary of ThingLink’s new Tour Creator:

1. Support for multiple media formats
ThingLink is the only platform that supports transitions from one interactive media type to another. This means you can have a base image or a poster that transitions to a set of 360 images or videos, and maybe back to the base image. This way a virtual tour is not limited to only 360 media, but it becomes a multimedia presentation on small and large touch screens that can include multiple paths for navigation and content discovery.

2. A selector that shows all your media
No need for copy-pasting links! The new editor pulls all your previously created media into an image selector. This means you can now select the next scene for your tour with one click. If you want to add a new image, the image selector also offers an upload option.

3. Several content templates for best mobile experience
To make your images look great on any device, ThingLink’s Tour Creator features multiple content templates from plain text annotations to various combinations of text, images and embedded content. In addition to the tag arrangement, you can design a custom color scheme that will apply to all points of interest.

4. A custom text label for transition
To give your viewers an idea of the next scene in your tour or presentation, you can add a short text such as “Go to the library” or “Back to start”. Labeling will help distinguish transitions from content icons.

5. A large selection of icons + custom icon upload
To make your tour visually attractive, ThingLink offers hundreds of preloaded icons in various colors. In addition, Premium users can upload their own icons directly inside the editor.

6. New privacy options for organization-only viewing
Organization account holders can now set their content in “My organization” viewing mode, in which case their presentations and tours will not show up in ThingLink search. Only members of the same organization can access content created by its members. This is an important feature for many schools, eLearning service providers, and corporate training organizers.

To see ThingLink’s Tour Creator in action, watch this video from Andrew walking through the different features!

Switching to the new editor
The following months will be a transition period during which you will experience both the old and the new editor depending on which editor has originally been used for creating an image. Eventually all images and tag types will convert to open in the new editor. Going forward, all new features such as collaborative editing 360 video will be available in the new editor.

How to access the new editor and the Tour Creator?
Make sure you have selected “Use New ThingLink Image Editor” the Interface settings under Account settings. This gives you access to the new editor.

We look forward to seeing your work, please keep sharing your projects to the ThingLink Education groups on Facebook and Twitter!

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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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Immersive Publishing for Cultural Preservation: Visiting the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro in Memories

Some weeks ago we got a note from Leonardo Coelho, a journalist and a student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. After the devastating fire that destroyed the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Leonardo had started working on a project that developed new ways for people to remember and share memories of the museum they loved. To us, Leonardo’s initiative struck as a truly wonderful example of how 360 media and immersive publishing can support cultural preservation, and we wanted to take a moment to share his story with you.

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