Tag Archives: thinglink teacher

A Webinar to Share Tips & Tricks

Efficient Ways to Manage ThingLink EDU in the Classroom

ThingLink EDU is has many features to help teachers efficiently manage a safe and secure ThingLink powered online learning environment. Google Drive is an  efficient tool for organizing and managing  the workflow in a ThingLink powered classroom. Together these two tools are unbeatable for managing a multi media rich learning environment.

Collect, sort and view all student work in one place!

We’re hosting a free webinar designed to provide busy teachers with an overview of the features available in ThingLink and ways to put them to use. Discover how to use Google Docs to automate tasks within this digital learning environment. Learn to seamlessly integrate ThingLink EDU into your own classroom.

 

Explore This Interactive Image

Spend less time figuring things out on your own and more time leveraging the power of ThingLink as a tool for teaching and learning. Scroll over the image to sign up for Build Your ThingLink Classroom: Tips & Tricks for Teachers today!

 

Time Restrictions?

This webinar will be archived for registered participants who are unable to attend the live session due to time restrictions. Please register to receive resources and archived webinar via email.

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ThingLink Teacher Challenge: Design Your Digital Self

This is the 2nd post in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge series. Participants can join the challenge at any time by signing up.  After you sign up, you will receive an email invitation from ThingLink. View a list of all posts in this series at the bottom of each weekly challenge. Please visit our showcase page.

Please Tweet and share through social media with the hashtag #TLChallenge. Feel free to repost any of the challenges on your own blog and be sure to invite your friends and colleagues to participate.

Week 2:  Design Your Digital Self

Objective

In this activity you will

  1. Create an avatar.
  2. Add your avatar  to ThingLink
  3. Add Rich Media Tags to your avatar to Design Your Digital Self.
  4. Share and submit Your Digital Self to the ThingLink Challenge.
  5. Get to know  other participants as you explore their work.
  6. Explore the use of a ThingLink Channel for guided learning.

Overview

In this activity you will create an interactive image to  introduce Your Digital Self  to other members of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge Classroom and also to anyone who views the great work we are doing. You will define yourself through through multimedia by creating tags to to whatever it is that defines your Digital Self. Revisit and add to your Digital Self as you change and grow. Use the channel to guide you through the process. Consider using the activity with students at the start of the school year.

Rationale

To engage students in learning, it’s important to help them make connections to their own world. This classroom kick off activity sets the tone for making those personal connections . The activity can also be very useful for gauging students’ problem-solving and research skills as you serve as facilitator it in the classroom. In addition, the activity provides teachers with the opportunity to remind students about protecting their identities when publishing digital work. With access to a web full of resources and the opportunity to create, this activity is built for success.

Steps at a Glance:

Note: Create this activity in your regular teacher account. There is no need to create it in your ThingLink Challenge Classroom this time.

  1. Create an avatar.
  2. Add your avatar  to ThingLink
  3. Add Rich Media Tags to your avatar to Design Your Digital Self.
  4. Share and submit Your Digital Self to the ThingLink Challenge.
  5. Get to know  other participants as you explore their work.
  6. Explore the use of a ThingLink Channel for guided learning.

Explore this Channel of Interactive Resources to Guide Your Learning

Showcase of Examples

Explore this channel of images created by participants and watch it grow!

Classroom Connections and Modifications

  • Take advantage of the teachable moment and combine this activity with an Internet Safety lesson to help students distinguish between personal and private information when sharing on the web.
  • Introduce the activity at the start of the school year in place of a traditional getting to know you activity and encourage students to add tags as they learn, change and grow throughout the year.
  • Create a class channel of student digital selvess for use as an introduction to another classroom when collaborating.

  • Adapt the activity to fit into your curriculum and use it throughout the year as a place for students to showcase their growth and progress in a particular area.
  • Ask students to create a channel of their own to track their  progress towards specific goals, adding tags to highlight accomplishments throughout the year.

Additional Help and Support

ThingLink Teacher Challenge at a Glance

 Next Week’s Challenge

Digging Deeper Into Vocabulary

Take the Week 3 Challenge: Digging Deeper Into Vocabulary

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ThingLing Challenge Week 1: Tips, Tricks and Showcase

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge is up and running and this post is designed to share tips, tricks and showcase some of the work that has been created. Here you will also find answers to  frequently asked questions and ways to connect and collaborate.

Week 1 Feature Image

The first image, submitted by Alexandra Duarte, is a good one to showcase as an example of meeting the Week 1 Challenge to create a simple image to demonstrate “How To”.  It comes right in time for The World Cup, which starts today. Alexandra took a simple photo, introduced a concept through multimedia, and gave students a task to complete. Explore World Cup 2014- Portuguese Team Photo.

As a teacher, you have the ability to add tags to your students’ images. Notice I added the ThingLink Teacher Challenge icon to Alexandra’s work.

Remix to Contribute

You may be wondering how students can contribute their ideas to this image without sharing logins or devices. The answer is in the Remix  feature. The Remix feature acts like a virtual copy machine. Choosing this option allows anyone to add the image to their collection of images and add their own tags, keeping the original image in tact. I added a yellow tag to share what I learned through research about one of the team members. Explore my Remix.

 How to Distribute a Remix Lesson to Students

  1. Start on the original image.
  2. Click the Share button to copy the link.
  3. Post the link in a handy spot for students to access, or create a QR code for students with mobile devices to help them quickly jump to your image. Important: To view the Remix icon on an image, students should not be logged in.
  4. When students click on the Remix icon, they will be prompted to log in.
  5. After logging in, students will see the image in their own collection titled “Remix of…Title of Image”

Try it Yourself

  1. Make sure you are not logged in to ThingLink.
  2. Click on the link. World Cup 2014- Portuguese Team Photo
  3. Click on the Remix icon
  4. Log in when prompted.
  5. Add tags to the image.
  6. Submit your image to the Class Channel, World Cup, to see how this project can grow into a multimedia album of student work.

FAQs

Here are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions this week.

Corporate Logo vs. Teacher Logo

Q:  I am seeing the ThingLink Corporate Logo instead of the ThingLink Teacher logo, do I still have a teacher account?

A: Yes! If you see the ThingLink Corporate Logo, you probably took advantage of the Free Premium Upgrade offered at the end of last year. You have all the features of the ThingLink Teacher account with the added bonus of being able to create Custom Icons. Read more here.

Move Images to ThingLink Challenge Classroom

Q: Can I move an image created in my ThingLink Teacher Account to the ThingLink Teacher Challenge Classroom?

A: No, but you can still share it through this form.
The reason for asking teachers to join the classroom is to help you experience ThingLink through a student’s view and add it to a Class Channel, but either way the images you create can be shared in a variety of ways.

Adjust Image Size

Q: My image is very large. How can I view the entire image when editing it?

A: There are a few options for resizing your image:

    1. You can resize the image on the editing screen by clicking one of the buttons you see on the right side of the screen.  
    2. You can also adjust the size of your image when you embed it into a blog, wiki or website by selecting iframe and then selecting custom size.
    3. A helpful tip is to resize your image using a 3rd party tool before uploading it to ThingLink. 

resize images

Connect and Collaborate

With nearly 300 people participating in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge right now, we have an amazing opportunity to learn from each other, share our knowledge, and collaborate. Here are some ways you can connect and collaborate:

  1. Join our Google +Group, share your images, and comment on the work of others.
  2. Share images and Tweet about the challenge using the hashtag #TLChallenge
  3. View the Pinterst Board, repin and share.
    Follow Susan’s board ThingLink Teacher Challenge on Pinterest.
  4. Connect on FaceBook

Week 1:  Showcase

View our channel of “How To” images and watch it grow.

 

 

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ThingLink Teacher Challenge: Get Started

This is the 2nd post in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge series. Participants can join the challenge at any time by signing up.  After you sign up, you will receive an email invitation from ThingLink. View a list of all posts in this series at the bottom of each weekly challenge. Please visit our showcase page.

Please Tweet and share through social media with the hashtag #TLChallenge. Feel free to repost any of the challenges on your own blog and be sure to invite your friends and colleagues to participate.

Week 1: Get Started

Objectives

In this activity you will become familiar with some the functionality of the ThingLink Classroom. You will

  1. Join the ThingLink Challenge Classroom.
  2. Upload an image.
  3. Create a simple interactive image.
  4. Submit  your interactive image through a form for sharing.

Overview

Throughout the ThingLink Teacher Challenge we will be working within our own classroom environment. We will begin by completing some one-time setup tasks to join the ThingLink Teacher Challenge classroom.

You will start out as a member of the classroom and your experience will be very similar to what students experience when they work within a group. Later you will be creating your own ThingLink Classroom group to become familiar with the management tasks associated with being a teacher.

To get an understanding of the ease of use of the tool, we will start by creating a simple interactive image with content you are very familiar with. This will allow you to engage in constructive play without getting overwhelmed by trying to create a complex lesson right out of the gate. . If you are an experienced ThingLink user, hopefully you will find the opportunity to kick this first challenge up a notch, if you choose.

Part I: Set up tasks

  1. New Users – Sign up for a ThingLink Teacher Account at ThingLink.com/edu

     

    Sign up for a Teacher Account

  2. Confirm that you have a ThingLink Teacher account.

    Look for the Teacher stamp under the ThingLink Logo. If you do not see the Teacher stamp, return to the ThingLink for Education page and follow the steps above to sign up for a  teacher account with your existing login.  After completing the sign up step, you should  see the Teacher stamp under the logo.

     

    ThingLink Teacher Logo

  3. Join the ThingLink Teacher Challenge Classroom

    If you have already signed up for the ThingLink Teacher Challenge, you should find an invitation to join our group in your email inbox.  If you haven’t signed up for the challenge, please click on the link to sign up.Watch this video tutorial to learn how to join the ThingLink Challenge Classroom. Remember to use the pause button as you walk through the steps.

 

Part II: Create an Interactive Image

The first ThingLink Teacher Challenge will be to create a simple interactive image that explains “How To…” and taps into your own expertise. Remember, new users should keep it simple and choose a topic you are very familiar with. Here are some simple summer ideas for your first image.

  • How to Make Ice Tea
  • How to Get Fit for Summer
  • How to Grow Tomatoes
  • Anything goes, keep it simple

Example: Learn How to Play the Guitar

Create an Interactive Image 

  1. Upload your image to ThingLink
  2. Give your image a title.
  3. Tag your image with text, rich media tags and weblinks.

Watch this video to learn how to create a simple interactive image. Then experiment with different types of tags and create your own interactive graphic.

Part III:  Submit Your Image

When you are satisfied with one of your images, please submit the link through this easy form.

  1. Click on the Share icon
  2. Copy the link.
  3. Paste the link with into this form.

Submit Images

 

Optional: Add Image to our the lass channel titled
Week 1: How To…

  1. Click on the image you want to add
  2. Look at the bottom of the image for the option to Add to Channel.
  3. Select the How To channel from the drop-down menu and click done.

Add to channel

Additional Handouts for Help and Support

View the How To Channel and Watch it Grow

ThingLink Teacher Challenge at a Glance

Next Week’s Challenge: Design Your Digital Self

Take the Week 2 Challenge: Design Your Digital Self

voki_tTLChallenge

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ThingLink Education Features Reviewed

ThingLink Education has been working hard this year to support teachers by providing the community with a safe and efficient online classroom environment. ThingLink Teacher Accounts are packed full of powerful features to help teachers transform learning and help students develop 21st century skills.

As we approach the launch of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge, we thought it would be helpful to provide educators with a handy spot to review earlier posts about features available in ThingLink Teacher Account. Of course, a great way to share all of this information is through the use of an interactive image as a content launcher.

ThingLink Education Features at a Glance

Explore this interactive image to jump to earlier posts introducing ThingLink Education teacher features with examples and directions.

ThingLink Education Features Professional Development

We understand the importance of providing professional development to help teachers explore and use ThingLink in the classroom. We realize that summer is a great time to help teachers grow professionally. To meet the needs of busy teachers, we are excited to offer the ThingLink Teacher Challenge this summer. We hope you can join us for this free, self-paced learning opportunity designed to help teachers connect, explore and learn through constructive play.

ThingLink Teacher Challenge

 

 

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Create a Multimedia Memory Book

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 Through the SAMR Lens

ThingLink Through the SAMR LensIf you are a teacher with a passion for teaching, ThingLink is an essential tool for your toolkit.  This flexible tool is well-suited for helping students dig deeper into content as they create. Learning to use ThingLink is an adventure worth exploring.

Getting Started with ThingLink

To find your starting point for learning to use ThingLink in the classroom, it’s helpful to examine the tool through the lens of the SAMR model of tech integration, developed by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. This model is extremely useful for the work I do to help teachers leverage the power of technology because it’s simple, easy to gauge, and something to strive for.

Teachers in the substitution and augmentation phase use technology to accomplish traditional tasks and enhance learning. These stages are necessary and should not be skipped, but the learning gain for students is the same with or without the technology.  At the modification and redefinition levels, technology is used to transform learning and embrace opportunities that are not possible without technology. At these levels, the task changes. This means that ‘Teaching Above the Line’ is where the real learning gains occurs.

 

 

ThingLink Through the SAMR Lens

ThingLink itself is a tool that starts “Above the Line”  because creating a multimedia enhanced interactive image requires technology. It is important to go through each of the stages of SAMR to avoid the pitfalls of chaos that can result by jumping in too quickly. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills to prepare for responsibly creating and publishing interactive images. Keep in mind that  the goal is to “Teach Above the Line”, but when you and your students get there, you will want to be comfortable with attribution, copyright and publishing. Start by creating and working with images.

Substitution: Create an Original Image

At the substitution level it’s important to remember that teachers are engaging in tasks that could be completed without  technology or with limited older technology. There are opportunities at this level to introduce students to the concept of copyright and intellectual property as they create original images and work with their own photos to present knowledge and ideas. All too often in school, students create posters that consist of printed images from the web, so this is a good time to stop and help them understand that those images are the intellectual property of the creator and, unless they are in the public domain or licensed for reuse, they are not free to use.

 

 

Augmentation: Create an Original Digital Image

Perhaps the most tremendous benefit of  technology is the ability to provide students with equal access to virtually unlimited resources available on an Internet connected device. At the augmentation level, technology greatly enhances the process of creating an original image because of the increased number of flexible options available. In simple terms, all student have access to an unlimited number of  colors to draw with, which exceeds the number of colors that could be available in any classroom. More importantly, the eraser is a game changing tool, unmatched with paper and pencil.

To make good use of working at the augmentation level, teachers should continue to explore digital citizenship with students and help them understand the concept of public domain and copyright free image use. Students can explore drawing and painting programs to create original digital images, and they can explore resources for finding images that are in the public domain or licensed for reuse. Additionally students can explore online resources to manipulate photos and create digital posters that they label with simple text.

The best way to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to responsibly create and publish images is to learn through constructive play. Engage students in tasks that require them to create their own original digital images to communicate ideas and demonstrate learning.

Modification: Create Interactive Images

When teachers and their students are comfortable creating and working responsibly with images, it’s time to “Teach Above the Line” with ThingLink!  The flexibility of this tool makes it well-suited for a variety of uses in the classroom. Custom icons can be used for differentiation and multimedia can be used to meet the unique learning needs of students.

At this level there is a lot of room for growth. Teachers and their students should start by creating simple interactive images about familiar concepts to get a feeling for the ease of use of the tool. After that, the sky is the limit. Start with an image. Define it through multimedia.  Present ideas. Pack it full of content. Create links to amazing sites. Explore, share and create at the modification level with ThingLink in the classroom!

Redefinition: Invent, Innovate and Inspire

At the redefinition level, teachers and their students have the ability to design a learning task or identify a goal, then make it happen with ThingLink by integrating appropriate tools from their own toolkit. ThingLink is an amazing tool at this level because it can be used to weave together a web of tools to support just about any learning experience imaginable. Use of technology at this level is seamless because it has become natural and comfortable. ThingLink provides teachers with the power to invent, innovate and inspire.

Here is an example of my most recent ThingLink invention designed to extend a One School, One Book initiative into the homes of families. In addition to sharing recorded chapters for all to enjoy, the interactive image is used to meet a variety of my own goals for integrating technology at the school. The best part about this graphic is watching it grow as new ideas develop.

Putting It All Together

Explore this SAMR and ThingLink Ladder for a big picture view of the ideas presented here.

 

 

 

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3 Ways to Use ThingLink Custom Icon Sets

ThingLink Custom Icon Sets are a new feature available to teachers with premium accounts. They offer  a whole new layer of opportunities for using interactive images for teaching and learning. Think of Custom Icon Sets as visual labels that can be used to further define an image and provide a glimpse of the type of content to be explored behind the link. They are fun to create and have many great uses in the classroom. Here are three ideas to get you started.

Custom Icon Sets for Differentiation

Create differentiated multimedia content launchers to help students identify resources to match their personal learning needs. Teach students to self-select content at their own ability levels. Use colors to identify 3 levels of difficulty for links to text based information.  Create Custom Icon Sets to represent types of resources, such as video, text, audio, images or games. Start simple and before you know it you will be adding layers of differentiation at a glance.

Custom Icon Sets to Guide the Learning

Take students on a journey through a collection of resources by using numbers as Custom Icon Sets on interactive images. Grab students’ attention and walk them through a path as they explore, learn and interact with content. Take students on a virtual fieldtrip, design a webquest type journey, guide them through a process or teach a specific skill. Add order to your interactive images with Custom Icon Sets.

Custom Icon Sets to Create Something Original

Here is an example of something original I created while engaging in constructive play to explore Custom Icon Sets

Create a Custom Icon Set

Explore this interactive image to view the illustrated steps for creating a Custom Icon Set. Be sure to watch the video for a guided walk through.

 

Parting Thoughts

As an early adopter of ThingLink, I’ve spent quite a bit of time designing interactive images. Throughout this time I’ve had many thoughts and ideas about creating additional icons to improve the design process, but I never dreamed of having the flexibility to design my own. I believe this amazing new feature will be extremely useful for inspiring creativity and redefining learning. This is going to be fun!

ThingLink Custom Icon Sets are available with ThingLink Teacher Premium accounts. For an upgrade, email education@thinglink.com

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Build Your ThingLink Classroom

ThingLink is working hard to pack teacher accounts full of useful features for building and managing the ThingLink Classroom. I am excited to be guest blogging here in February and March to demonstrate great ways to use the new features. Let’s start from the beginning by taking a look at how teachers can create a ThingLink Classroom and add students.

Create Your Own ThingLink Classroom

Good news! When teachers sign up for a ThingLink Teacher account, a classroom group is now automatically created. Just sign up and grab your own classroom to experience the benefits of collecting, organizing and viewing the work of your students in one place!

 

Create Student Accounts

ThingLink has streamlined the sign-up process by providing teachers with the power to create student accounts from a simple list of names. Just pop your list into the designated box in your ThingLink Teacher account and the system will generate a list of student logins. After the first login, students can change their passwords if they choose. This feature is sure to help students get up and running in a snap.

Explore this interactive image and be sure to watch the video to see how easy it is to create student accounts with your ThingLink Teacher account.

Launch Your ThingLink Classroom

After students have accounts within your ThingLink Classroom, it’s time to let them to try out the tool. My advice is to start with something simple for use as an exploratory activity. Let students create an interactive image with familiar content to allow them to experience the ease of use of the tool in a way that doesn’t strain their brain. After students get their feet wet, you will discover many possibilities for teaching and learning with ThingLink.

Final Thoughts

ThingLink has been my trusted tool for quite some time and  I am truly excited to watch it grow into an amazing tool for students and teachers. Stay tuned for more exciting new ThingLink Teacher features to help you build your ThingLink Classroom.

Learn More and Build Your PLN

Want to learn more about the ThingLink Classroom? Join us for the ThingLink Challenge This Summer.

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