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As another school year comes to a close it’s time for students and teachers to celebrate and reflect on all the wonderful experiences from the school year. ThingLink is the perfect tool for creating multimedia memory books to help students capture memories, preserve them, and share them with friends and family across the globe.

Explore this Multimedia Memory Book

How to Create a Multimedia Memory Book

Brainstorm Ideas

To generate excitement and help students tap into their memories, start with a class brainstorming session. Generate enough ideas so students have plenty of choices to make, allowing them to create their own unique memory books. After all there are some things students might not want to remember and this assignment will be more meaningful and authentic if it doesn’t resemble a recipe. Use the sample memory book for ideas to get started and then ask your students for their ideas.

Memory Book Ideas

Create Interactive Images

Once ideas have been generated, students can start by creating one interactive image at a time. At this point, they don’t have to worry about following any particular order. They will put the images in order when they assemble their channel.

If you and your student are new to ThingLink, you should understand the order of creating original interactive images.

  1. Create the image.

  2. Upload the image to ThingLink

  3. Start tagging

There is one thing to note before you get started. If you want to include text headings on each page of the memory book, you must create the original image with a heading before you upload it to ThingLink. You can do this using a number of free and user friendly digital tools, so choose a tool that you and your students are already comfortable with.

Ideas include:

  • Create a PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Docs Slide with a heading and an image. Take a screenshot of the slide and upload it to ThingLink.

  • Use a free online photo editing tool, such as Photo Flexr or PicMonkey. Upload the image and use the built in tools to add text. Save the finished image to your computer and upload it to ThingLink.

  • On a tablet, try Pages, Keynote, Educreations, or any app that allows you to add text to an image. Take a snapshot and then upload it to ThingLink from your Photos.

Create a ThingLink Channel

Once students have created the individual interactive images, the last step is to assemble the memory book by adding the images to a ThingLink Channel. Explore this interactive image to learn how to create a ThingLink Channel in 3 steps:

Final Thoughts

I really like the idea of Using ThingLink to create an interactive memory book because it allows students to share their thoughts and celebrate their accomplishments through multimedia in a way that meets their individual learning styles. In addition, since there are no materials needed to create the memory books, the playing field is leveled. All students have access to the resources available on the Internet, as long as we provide accommodations for those students who are not connected at home. Finally, since this flexible tool is online and available 24/7, students can put as much time and energy into the project as they see fit. There will be no erasure marks, it won’t get lost, rained on, crumpled or ruined, and students can continue to add to it their own memory book as time goes on, even after the final bell rings.

Summer Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge

ThingLink Teacher Challenge

Join me and ThingLink for a free, self-paced, online summer professional development opportunity designed to help teachers transform teaching and learning with ThingLink.

Sign up to receive news about the ThingLink Teacher Challenge this summer. We will kick off weekly challenges beginning on June 9, 2014.

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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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This week we released our ThingLink Twitter Card, which allows anyone to browse the live tags in ThingLink interactive images inside a Tweet at  Twitter.com.

You can now create an image on ThingLink with in-image links to video and sound players, share it on Twitter, touch the image and interact with the links without having to leave Twitter.  This innovation opens up for new opportunities for personal expression as well as marketing opportunities for businesses and brands.

ThingLink and Twitter – How to set it up

Now if you haven’t already signed up for ThingLink, do it now. We’ll wait, it only takes 30 seconds.

Then upload or import an image and tag it with any of our supported rich media tags, which you can see in the presentation below:

 

Share the interactive image on Twitter by clicking “Share” or “Tweet” on top of the image or right clicking the image and selecting “Share image”.

 

Any user seeing the tweet can now browse the live tags on Twitter without having to leave the image. Click “View Media” and the interactive image opens up.  The image is also viewable by clicking the date/time stamp on the Tweet and the status update version of the Tweet will appear with the image and interactivity.

 

The image must be shared from ThingLink.com to be viewable inside Twitter.  We also suggest that you set up your own channel on ThingLink to allow for people to easily find other interactive images that you’ve created.

NOTE:  Twitter is still testing Twitter Cards with certain users/sessions. The ThingLink-Twitter integration works on ThingLink.com, Twitter’s mobile client and Tweetdeck’s web version. Hopefully it will work on third party clients in the future.

 

Tips & Tricks

Twitter will scale down any image that you share from ThingLink.com to 280 or 560 pixels on mobile and 435 pixels on desktop. That means that any messages in the image should be written in larger text and be more prominent for users to quickly see them. It also means that it’s better to use vertical images since the height of the image is not restricted.

 

BONUS!

We’ve implemented another fun feature for the Twitter Card. If there are Twitter tags in the image, we will detect them and automatically mention the users when you share the image on Twitter. That way the users in the image will be notified of it whenever the image is shared by you or anyone else. Check out this Twitter example below:

 

Visit ThingLink now to create your own account! 

Read more about ThingLink and Twitter @ Mashable and TheNextWeb.

Read What ThingLink’s Interactive Tweets Mean for BrandsSimplyZesty.

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We launched our developer program quietly a few months ago. The Thinglink SDK, as you could call it, allows you to create your own Rich Media Tags simply and make them available to all Thinglink users.

Today we’re doing a couple of major improvements to our developer offering. First, we’re allowing the tags you create to be sticky, i.e. the tags can have a close button and they won’t go away when the user moves the mouse out of the tag. This is especially useful if you developed a video player or a similar application.

Example

<script type=”text/javascript”

src=”//www.thinglink.com/jse/thinglink.js”></script>

<script>

thinglink.setSticky(true);

</script>

 

Check out the deeper documentation at http://www.thinglink.com/help/Thinglink%20Javascript%20Library

Second, we released a Developer Preview of Thinglink Connect. Thinglink Connect is a simple library which makes it very easy to add Thinglink to any platform. It uses the industry standard OAuth2 –specification (or at least a very close approximation of revision -16 of it.)

 

Here’s an example how you would use it e.g. with JQuery 

<script src=”//www.thinglink.com/jse/tlconnect.js”></script>

<script>

TLC.init({

client:’[YOUR CLIENT ID]‘,

user: ‘[ANY USER ID]‘,

isOwner: true,

redirectUri: ‘http://mysite.com/thinglink/redirecturi.html’

});

</script>

<div class=”thinglinkConnect”></div>

 

First, we load the tlconnect.js script. In this case, we do it synchronously. Second, we initialize the TLC object which is created by the tlconnect.js script. We put in the client id (which you can get from your Developer page on www.thinglink.com/developer) , an user ID (which is an opaque string from you), the isOwner parameter specifying that yes, the user currently logged in on your site is also the person responsible for editing this site. Then, finally the OAuth2 –specified redirect URI.

Third, we add just a simple DIV which is replaced by TLC.init() with a nice little “Thinglink Connect” icon if the user isn’t yet logged in.

Check out the full documentation at http://www.thinglink.com/help/Developer. There are a lot more options, functions and tweakeroos available to ease your integration.  Please remember that this is a developer preview, so things might still be changing around a bit. If you want to influence the library and the API, now’s the time. We welcome comments at http://support.thinglink.com.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot: we now support oEmbed on all of our image pages. It’s a quick hack, but let us know if you’re finding it useful. This should make it far easier to embed Thinglinked images if your platform supports the oEmbed standard.

ThingLink CTO Janne Jalkanen, @ecyrd

 

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Good news everybody: we released a new help section. We realized that the old one had become a bit disorganized in the midst of all our development work and we decided to gather and update the best and most useful content all in one place. This is a continuation of our efforts to make ThingLink’s dialogue with its users sparkle.

We divided the sections into five parts: “Setting up ThingLink” helps you get started and guides you through the installation process, “Support forum” puts you in contact with our team directly to ask questions or submit feedback, “Features and integration” tells you about other services that work with ThingLink, “Developer resources” features tips on how to tune the tool to your liking and “Frequently asked questions” answers all of the most interesting and thoughtful questions our users are thinking about.

The new help section helps you find information on virtually all aspects of using ThingLink. Visit it now to see what we did.

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