Every day we read in the news how our attention span seems to be getting shorter and shorter, and teachers are starting to get concerned that the old stand-bys of visual stimulation are no longer going to hold our students’ attention.
Luckily, the technology that seems to be sucking away the eyes of our students is the same technology that can be used to pull those eyes right back.
ThingLink was originally developed for marketers to be able to have a picture of multiple items and any item you clicked on would lead to a sales page. This process is called Image Mapping and is actually an old online trick that many simply forgot about until companies like ThingLink came along to make it easier.
As teachers we can work (for free!) with ThingLink to help our students make better sense of the images we are showing them by creating a dynamic interaction right in the images.
When students roll over a designated part of the image, we can set the image to bring up annotations, related pictures, videos, audio recordings, and more.
Let’s take a look at how to do it:
ThingLink itself is not particularly complicated – load up a picture, click the part you want to make dynamic, and then share the link out.
Some Ideas to Get Started:
As with most of the technology presented on EdTech.tv, the great part is when you start to let your imagination roam free. Imagine a biology class where groups of students are assigned to a different part of the respiratory system, and the students are required to make a video explaining their part. As a teacher, you could link the videos to a diagram of the system and post it on the school blog for everyone to see.
A math teacher might use annotations to remind students of different mathematical functions on a picture of an equation, and slowly offer fewer and fewer “hints” on how to solve the problems.
A music teacher could create background music to emphasize how a musical style defined a generation.
The ideas become endless, and you might consider getting your students in on the fun.
ThingLink in Action:
Have a look at the ThingLink I created in the video, then sit back and let your mind wander…
How else can you use ThingLink? Make sure to share your ideas so everybody can benefit from collective thinking! I’d love to hear your ideas, so leave a message below or tweet me @EdTechPrincipal!