Friday, February 15, 2013

Create Interactive Images with ThingLink

by Susan Stephenson,

ThingLink is a useful presentation tool. It enables users to upload their own images or upload from the web. Users can then embed links and text into the image which others can see as tiny icons that lead to further information.

I've embedded a ThingLink above that shows you some places online where you'll find The Book Chook. Scroll your mouse over the image to find them. (This is no longer working as I have exceeded the 10 000 views that come with the free ThingLink account. I plan to use Google Drawings for any similar projects in future.)

How can ThingLink be used in an educational context?

* Primary students could collect the blog posts they have written on a class blog and embed those links into an image of themselves, then embed that image onto the class blog, making it easy for parents to find one child's work.

* Kids could take photos on class excursions, then add links to videos, sound, text and websites that have further information.

* Imagine the fun of taking a photo of a favourite hobby, then embedding links to explain and enrich the picture!

* ThingLink would also make an interesting way to collect favourite books and movies. To illustrate this, I made another ThingLink that I've embedded below, showing some favourite Walker books. Scroll over the reader's hat, kids' heads etc to see the books.  (This is no longer working as I have exceeded the 10 000 views that come with the free account.)
* Older kids could use the link-embedding feature to collect links to information when writing an essay, or demonstrate understanding of a topic.

What I like about ThingLink: it allows a user to make a ThingLink private or public. It works well, is simple and quick. It's free for 100 image uploads, but there are also paid plans. There are several types of rich media tags that can be embedded. And there are a few icons to choose from for your link e.g. circle, Twitter bird, heart etc.

For information on how to use ThingLink in detail, check out the video in this post by Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne).

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